Paul John Wonner, though he later became a practitioner of hyperrealism and a painter of still-lifes, is most associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement and it is his Abstract Expressionist works for which he is most widely-known.
Wonner was born in Tucson, Arizona and received his art education in California. All of his degrees, a BA in 1952, an MA in 1953 and an MLS in 1955 were earned at the University of California, Berkeley.
John Paul Wonner is known for his dreamlike paintings. One of his most well-known series of paintings depicts male bathers and boys with bouquets rendered in the artist's otherworldly style. His other paintings that typically receive much attention are his abstract expressionist still-lifes.
Wonner was also a teacher, serving at the University of California in Los Angeles.
His style changed dramatically in the late 1960's. Gone were the Abstract Expressionist leanings, replaced with a love of hyperrealism and an almost exclusive production of still life paintings.
His art is a part of many well-known public collections including famous California museums such as The Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as well as the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.