Elmer Nelson Bischoff is an American artist associated with the San Francisco Bay Area art scene and the Bay Area Figurative Movement.
He started out his career as a painter who worked in chiefly abstract art. Later, he moved toward figurative art, making him part of the First Generation of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.
Elmer Nelson Bischoff served as an intelligence officer in World War II, stationed in England. He was in England from 1941 until 1945 but quickly reestablished himself among the art scene upon his return. Before he had departed for the war, he had worked as a high school art teacher. When he returned, he found that his prospects had improved considerably.
He was suggested by a friend for the position of an art teacher at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. This placed him at the epicenter of the Bay Area Figurative movement and heavily influenced the evolution of his work.
The Bay Area Figurative movement produced a unique form of painting that is considered to be related, yet separate from, Abstract Expressionism that dominated the art world during the peak of Bischoff's career. It is considered to be an American school of painting.