E. M. Polley

  • Tom Holland at Richmond

    IF EVER AN EXHIBITION of visual art called for sound and movement as a complement, Tom Holland's one­man show at Richmond Art Center was it. There is something wildly paganistic in Holland's more recent work, which calls for pipes-of-Pan in some areas, voodoo drums in others. Even his prodigious output suggests some sort of secret fertility rite—and in assembling the show J. J. Aasen, curator of the Richmond Center, sensed it. The paintings were hung in a manner that suggested back­drops, and the paper sculptures, which have recently obsessed Hol­land, were set out in tableaux. The environmental

  • East Bay

    The exhibitions of kinetic sculpture at the University of California and the San Francisco Art Museum might lead one to believe that the trend in contemporary sculpture is more toward activation and actuation than a broad view supports. But the concepts of both painting and sculpture have changed radically, as our modes and manners have changed. This point is made by the exhibition of works in “2-D, 3-D” at the Richmond Art Center, which opened with little fanfare and runs concurrently with the San Francisco show. It is a real sleeper.

    The City of Richmond is at the northern extremity of the

  • Arne Hiersoux

    The recent paintings by Arne Hiersoux, which fill the spacious Mills College Art Gallery with more than just square footage of canvas even though they are huge in size and sometimes irregular in shape, would seem to dramatize those responses shared by all forms of organic life to the point at which they become emotions. From that point on, he specializes in the intricate and sophisticated problems of the human being. The attraction of male to female is indicated, but his biological symbolism is so generalized that it could relate to flora as well as fauna. When he designates the human experience,

  • William Theo Brown

    At the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento is a 2-gallery exhibition of landscape and figure paintings by William Theo Brown. Brown has developed the Bay Area style of figurative painting into a near-classic idiom. His Man and White Horse has overtones of both Cezanne and Gauguin, but the statement is one related to northern pastures under cool light. Despite the nude figure and romantic reference, one’s response is spiritual. It is the small painting of Bacchanalia that is most provocative, however. It gives no indication of the drunken revelry that the title would imply. Nude men and women, in

  • East Bay

    In one of its best shows in many years, the Mills College Art Gallery, directed by Dr. Carl I. Belz, presented a fall exhibition of the recent works of Rafael Canogar, brought here from Spain as the guest instructor in painting by Antonio Prieta, head of Mills College Art Department.

    While Spain’s younger abstract painters have, in the past decade, drawn the attention of the entire world, few of them have visited this country in any official capacity. Canogar, 31, is one of the first. Formerly deeply involved with Abstract Expressionism, as were most of his generation of artists, he, more than

  • Southwest Indian Arts

    It is a pity that the exhibition of Southwest Indian Arts at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor was not scheduled for late summer showing, to run at least partly concurrently with the penetrating survey of Northwest Indian Art which closed in October at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. What a magnificent sweep of North American ethnic arts they would have presented!

    This exhibition, planned as a following one to the enormously successful show of Indian works the Legion presented in 1958, is drawn from the same area. It is, however,

  • East Bay

    At Saint Mary’s College in Moraga Hanna Weyernowski, who fortunately signs her work with the shorter name of Kali, is one of those artists whose work shows best in a one-man exhibition. Especially since 1953, when she arrived in San Francisco from Poland by way of Canada and began to develop a strangely precise manner of rendering the figure in landscape using a pre-Renaissance technique that is often as much craft as art. Immediately prior to that time she had been an abstractionist, and even represented Canada at the International Biennial Exhibition of Modern Art in Brazil.

    In a retrospective

  • East Bay

    Plans for the $4,000,000 Arts Center and Museum on the Berkeley campus of the University of California have suddenly plunged from high hopes to actual distress, as a result of an unexpected decision by the University’s Board of Regents. There are conflicting interpretations of the reasons given, but that the University’s new art museum will not be built for some time seems to be a certainty. An art museum and theater were to be opened on the campus in 1966 as part of the University’s centennial celebration. Hans Hofmann gave 45 of his own paintings and a quarter of a million dollars toward the

  • San Francisco

    The Lowie Museum of Anthropology at The University of California, Berkeley, usually mounts one major show of ethnic art each year. That they chose Northwest Coast art this year may not have had any connection with other shows in the area, but the fact is that there were a number of excellent exhibitions of potlatch and totem art held in universities and city museums from Berkeley to Fairbanks. Some were special shows, some were permanent. Of them, the Lowie show was by far the most comprehensive, despite its being the one farthest removed from the source. It had, of course, borrowed widely from

  • Man: Glory, Jest & Riddle, Parts I & II

    CELEBRATING THE THESIS of the second epistle of Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Man,” San Francisco’s three museums recently joined in organizing an exhibition giving a broad survey of the human figure in art through the ages. It was arbitrarily divided among them, and this year being the 40th anniver­sary of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor may have had something to do not only with the timing of the project, but with the assignment to it of that period of art most influenced by the French.

    Man: Glory, Jest and Riddle was chosen as the final title (from the last line of the poem), and

  • Robert Arneson

    Clay sculptures and some distinguished pots by one of the West Coast’s most controversial ceramists. Arneson derives a sensual pleasure from the feel and sight of clay. (And apparently accepts the premise that, since man was fashioned from it, it is subject to the same treatment as a person in that it can be used or abused, shaped or broken, toughened or warped, transformed or transfigured.) He transforms far more than he transfigures it. These are not idealized shapes. Rather they suggest life beaten to a pulp and forced to reshape itself along primitive lines as a means of physical survival

  • Jack Ogden

    Serio-comic paintings by a young artist who sees deeper than most pop artists yet retains a sense of humor, in a newly expanded gallery which is now the nerve-center of Sacramento’s struggling art world.

    Ogden combines heraldic symbolism and rococo imagery with flat, uninteresting color and an individual approach to genre to sum up the cornball situation of America’s middle class public—its self-conscious chauvinism, self-generated regimentation, its “star” cult and peculiar interpretation of freedom. He treats these subjects with a penetrating mixture of anger, impatience, ridicule and sympathetic

  • David Rosen

    Recent 1 paintings by an artist who rose to prominence in the Federal Art Projects of the 30’s, and was associated with Siqueiros in his workshop, along with Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston. Rosen slipped out of the art world for a time, while he caught up on living by way of serving at a number of trades.

    His work fills three galleries here, and much of it falls into the category of social romanticism—groups of adolescents in moody blues, young thespians in dramatic gestures, some reminiscences of Weber’s sage prophets, all stated through a digest of accepted styles developed during the past

  • David Dangelo, Darrell Forney

    Sacramento lies at the gateway of the Sierra Nevada mining country, where gold dredges have cut into hills exposing root patterns, rock pockets and subsoil structure. Thus physiography plays a strong part in the art expression there, with Mickey Kane, Gene Viacrucis and Don Reich all having had a go at studying out the exploratory line of growing roots, the insistent power of swelling bulbs and the cold, hard resistance of rocks—described with compressed circles, variable line and eloquent space.

    Dangelo continues this study, extending it by indicating the vastness of the landscape which exerts

  • Max Bailey, Archie Gonzales, Rodney Briggs

    In substituting white canvas for natural masonite as a support for his cloisonné style of painting, Bailey comes up with greater contrasts, and greater starkness, in his naturescapes. Though cold, these works are exhilarating in quality. He has severely abstracted his subject matter, yet seems to automatically work to a horizon line. Rock and shore elements are inevitable, and are further identified by his preference for a low-keyed palette of black, white, green and grey. Bailey obviously understands the bleak aspects of nature, interpreting them as an explorer rather than a documenter—seeing

  • Group Show

    Kirk Axtell, Terry Buckendorf, Robert Cuff, Fredrick Dalkey, Kurt Fishback, Dick Geer, Edward Rivera and Don Yee are represented by several paintings or sculptures each. Not enough pieces to really evaluate their works individually, since all are relatively unknown even in the burgeoning Northern California area.

    It is not a promising show. Each artist is technically proficient, yet no one of them makes an independent statement. They do reveal, however, something of the varied approaches of their area: Cézannish landscapes, expressionistic landscapes, Ashcan genre, Bay Area figurative, and attempts

  • Eugene Dela­croix

    Two small oil paintings, 22 watercolors and drawings, and 31 prints in an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of Delacroix’s death (1798–1863), assembled en­tirely from West Coast collections. These are small works, some of which signi­ficantly point up the essential character of Delacroix’s art. In them is that quality of intimacy, spirituality, freedom of line and movement of mass which was often frozen by inhibitions in his grand works, where the battle of Romanticism vs. Classicism is generally so apparent, and where the shadow of Gericault some­times obscures his own not

  • Agustin Airola

    Airola’s is a strange art, part craft, part pictograph, part painting. He is a Yaqui Indian, born in Topolobambo, Mexico, who has lived in Barcelona, Spain, for the past 15 years. As a youth, he studied under artists in Finland, Holland, Rome and Madrid, but none of these contacts has erased the instinctive remembrance of Aztec carvings and Toltec murals from his work, or subdued the inherited impulses and cultural experience which brought these carvings and murals about.

    For he does not depend upon Indian motifs, but reasserts his heritage in a refinement that borders on dream stuff. His animals

  • Ted Odza and Crown Point Workshop

    Odza’s sculpture is, at this point, an agreeable and vital amalgamation of the influences of his three recent University of California instructors, Harold Paris, Wilfrid Zog­baum, and Sidney Gordin. His welded steel sculptures have the linear, space­enclosing forms of Zogbaum and the nicely poised point balance of Gordin, although they lack the refinement of the thoughtfuIly constructed works of either of these men. Odza has not yet reached full maturity, nor has he de­veloped a completely individual philos­ophy. But there is about his work the enthusiasm of first happy vision that makes its

  • Roberto Montenegro, Jesus Serna Maytorena, William Lenoir

    Paint­ings by two prominent Mexican artists, watercolors of Old Sacramento, and a group show from the Nevada City Art Association.

    Montenegro is one of the founders of the modern school of painting in Mex­ico, along with Diego Rivera and, later, Rufino Tamayo, his onetime helper in mural painting. He has been both teach­er and editor in his campaign to free Mexican artists from the colonial past, and in doing so, has himself been caught in the trap of history. This show has just returned from Tokyo. In it one finds a paradoxical blend of archeologi­cal remains and living studies of to­day’s