Elizabeth M. Polley

  • East Bay

    There have been some startling changes in the concept of watercolor painting in the past decade, and nowhere is it more evident than in the comprehensive 45th Annual National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Society, at the Kaiser Center Gallery, a joint project of the Oakland Art Museum and Kaiser Industries. An exhibition by the California Watercolor Society is always outstanding for the tremendous variety of approaches presented, and this one is no exception. Also outstanding is the high degree of professionalism shown by each and every exhibitor––a professionalism that in no way infers

  • Wayne Thiebaud, Tony DeLap, Jerry Silva, Anthony Berlant, Ralph Goings, David Dangelo, Darrell Forney, Alan Post, Gregory Kondos, William Wiley, Gary Pruner, Walter Ball, Larry Weldon, Dan Shapiro, Irving Marcus, Jack Ogden, Mel Ramos and more

    Collector Malcolm Weintraub and Robert Else, Professor of Art at Sacramento State College, have selected 60 works by 31 artists of the immediate area in a show that is of much higher calibre than one might expect from a city too far away to be part of the Bay Area metropolitan complex of galleries yet too close to be wholly independent of it.

    In a strange sort of dual role, San Francisco has been both a boon and a curse to the outlying cities. Too often unforgivably parasitic, city fathers of perimeter metropolises are apt to take a dim view of building museums or developing art centers since

  • Marjorie Ehlers

    The first one-man show of oils and drawings by an artist of great potential whose brushwork and whose design is nearly flawless, but whose symbolism is so personal as to need her special interpretation. Which limits viewer participation. In short, she prefers monologue to dialogue.

    Miss Ehlers has chosen to speak through the human figure as it is involved with a group. The central figure in each picture is part encapsulated in broad black line, and is presumably herself. The major part of her show is a sort of charade about one important event in her life. But what the event was and why its echo

  • William Morehouse

    In a gallery far too small for its stock and much too cluttered for comfortable viewing, Morehouse’s measured landscapes still show to advantage. He is exhibiting mostly small things in which his ability to state and support eloquent space is clearly revealed, although his tendency lately to break the frontal plane of the picture with an ox-bow line is tricky and unfortunate.

    Morehouse has recently enriched his palette by extending the range of color to include more reds, a condition benefiting such small pictures as “Black field,” which is best in the show here, and in harmony with the thick

  • Roger Baird

    The 44th National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Society stresses an astonishing range of technical approaches to the handling of a medium that was probably in use before man had a spoken language. One sees here the full spectrum—from the transparent to the opaque, from the objective to the non-objective. The jurors, Jonathan Scott, Leonard Edmondson, Noel Quinn, Clem Hall, and Hilda Levy, apparently placed but one requirement upon an accepted work: that it stand as a painting. They have admitted very few duds. Yet despite the depth of subject matter and the general excellence of

  • Robert Hartman and Richard Wagner

    Mixed media paintings expounding the romance of the aviator, and constructed metal sculpture playing weight against measure.

    Hartman scrubs his canvases with subtle variable grays and into this nebulous background he photo-screens sepia-toned pictures of early-day biplanes or monoplanes in pairs, multiples in tight formation, and occasionally a single plane in lone-eagle concept (although there is no special reference to Lindberg). By keeping them compartmented in white rectangles he isolates them from the elemental sky area and suggests the artificiality of the flying machine despite its marvelous

  • John Mancini

    Mancini’s division of the canvas into large uncluttered areas of strong color and his ability to summarize trees and houses by means of reducing them to simple volumes give a quiet power to his paintings. Recently he has turned from the quiet serenity of understated landscape to the quiet serenity of understated urban scape—thereby escaping the threat of monotony which sometimes menaces his shows.

    Elizabeth M. Polley

  • Cordoba Bienal

    30 paintings by 20 artists from Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, selected by Paul Mills, curator of the Oakland Art Museum, Lawrence Alloway, curator of the Guggenheim Museum, and Robert Wool, president of the Inter-American Foundation for the Arts, from the Second Bienal Americana de Arte held at the University of Cordoba, Argentina, last fall.

    The South American artists are apparently an eclectic group. In some cases they have achieved a syncretistic style in which their obvious borrowings have been made to serve a new and personal purpose. And in other cases one searches

  • Genevieve Edwards and more

    An astonishingly weak selection of 28 paintings. For some obscure reason a jury comprised of Elmer Bischoff, Paul Mills and Wally Hedrick rejected 388 of the 416 paintings and drawings submitted for this year’s annual, to come up with a show that resembles a high school annual more than the sophisticated work one has a right to expect from an area supporting some of the better known artists in the state.

    Insecure jurors can create a minor scandal, and at the same time buy a cheap reputation for having ’’tough eyes” by this process of mass rejection. The West Coast has seen a rash of such jurying

  • Jose Posada

    A selected group of 100 wood engravings by a printmaker who, for the better part of his life, was a salaried employee of a Mexican publisher and conducted a sort of picture journalism of his own for the illiterate peons of his time. It is estimated that he produced more than 20,000 engravings, with a single design running in some cases to as many as 5 million prints.

    In using his work to satirize contemporary Mexican life, Posada wielded a forceful and vitriolic weapon. As a prophet of revolution he paralleled Spain’s Goya and France’s Daumier. The limitations of the medium plus the vehement

  • Ronald Dahl and Carl Jennings

    Paintings and drawings of figures in a strange state of weightlessness, and decorative iron works that have the feel of honest craftsmanship and the look of beauty.

    Dahl has his own ideas on subject-matter and has painted in a style strongly influenced by Frank Lobdell, which would indicate a thick, painterly surface and wonderfully plastic composition, with shape defined by sinuous brush-stroke. Despite its suggestion of Munch and Kokoschka, Dahl’s idiom borders on Surrealism: floating figures of fantastically colored dogs and people (in that order of importance) held in suspension just above

  • Tio Giambruni and Harry Lum

    Giambruni’s recent sculptures have lost their tentacley quality and have now taken two separate di­rections—one in which flotsam is assembled in an ascending stream on a vertical column, in direct opposition to his former enfolded “cephlapods,” and one where he again enfolds shapes, but they are streamers which become globes. He also shows a number of small discs. They suggest an involvement with Buddhist philosophy, especially as the meticulous drawings he also shows seem to have been inspired by contemplation of the navel. Giambruni still takes his subject matter from nature as it is revealed

  • Warren Brandon, Richard Heidsiek, Six Spanish Printmakers, and Helen Breger

    Brandon’s semi-abstrac­tions of bridges and ships are both colorful and decorative. Heidsiek’s wa­tercolors of a rather ethereal Mexico represent a very personal interpretation, seemingly filtered through Feininger and Shahn.

    It is the printmakers who make this an outstanding month at the Crocker. The Spaniards, Julio Zachrisson, Jose Vento, Marcel Yrizarry, Francisco Echauz, Julio Martin-Caro and Angelo Medina, are all from Madrid. The spirit of Goya is the catalyst that binds their strongly individualistic styles into a unified group—the Goya that wrote “The Sleep of Reason brings forth Monsters”

  • Milton Komisar

    Komisar, who has just won a $2,000 award from the Louis C. Tiffany Foundation, is the second artist of the Venus Group to present a one-man show, his first. The quality is high.

    Komisar is a figurative painter with definite thoughts on the place of man in the urban art which is today’s en­vironment, thoughts which he some­times projects through the figure of his dog, Harry, much in the manner of the novelist, Jack London. Harry Some­times Dreams of Far Off Places is the literary title of one of his paintings­—a blue shepherd dog stands at the win­dow in a dark and richly-hued blue room, staring

  • David Park

    A memorial exhibition of 39 paintings from the last five years of Park’s life, when he was on the faculty of the University of California (1955–1960). Many are from collections of friends, and among them are some that Park would probably have deleted. But there is something of the cult of a personality connected with him, (there was even before his death) that seemingly makes everything he did or said inordinately important here. The sudden burgeoning of what at first appeared to be not much more than a mediocre talent when he was painting goopy abstractions into an astonishingly inventive artist

  • Ernie Kim, Sung Woo Kim, John Richards, and John Battenberg

    Ceramic bowls and boxes, Mandala paintings, diagrammatic painting and bronze allegorical sculptures that reflect influences from medieval Asia and the Age of Flight.

    Kim was head of the ceramics department at the San Francisco Art Institute before joining the faculty of the Richmond Art Center. He has long been involved in teaching, and because of the constant discipline enforced upon an instructor he has run the calculated risk of becoming academic. He has pretty well skirted this hazard because of an inordinate sensitivity to the uses and abuses of color and by means of subtle manipulation of

  • Richard Schoenhoff

    Schoenhoff is one of ten 1964 MFA recipients from the University of California who opened a cooperative gallery in September with a rather weak group exhibition. One-man shows, of which this is the first, will, one hopes, separate the chaff from the grain. Schoenhoff is not apt to be the first discard. His drawings are exceptionally strong—although in the “Implex” series they are much too direct in approach to justify the title even in a mathematical sense. A bold, Kline-ish calligraphy does create a limited system of surfaces, but greater complication is needed to fulfill the meaning of the

  • “The Immortal Eight”

    43 paintings by members of the Ashcan School. This major exhibition of works by the still controversial Eight, assembled and circulated by the Museum of Modern Art, is beginning its tour at a historic old museum which was once the mansion of E. B. Crocker and as such the center of Northern California's social and cultural life. It seems a fitting place for the take-off. The Eight are wholly in character with the Sacramento of their time—they possess the same lusty virility, combining clumsy gaucherie with bravura and, at times, a touch of greatness which probably would have met a more sympathetic

  • Fred Martin

    Martin combines watercolor, collage, pencil line and script into pictures that are mystic messages as well as decorations. He chooses his subjects from nature and passages of poetry or philosophical prose, but which item stimulates the selection of the other is part of the intriguing mystery that makes his work so tantalizing. Whatever the procedure, when Martin finishes with a composition it becomes not only a visual delight but a gem of thought. His show at Lanyon is small, and has been carefully selected from four years of continuous work. In it he proclaims his deep interest in art as the

  • Tom Holland

    Holland’s show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ones in the Bay Area so far this spring. Entering it has some of the aspects of stumbling accidentally into a primitive tamberan house. The effect is electric. Nick Wilder has purposely crowded the show, even to hanging one panel on the ceiling, where the visual impact exceeds anything possible with a traditional vertical arrangement.

    Holland, exploring the possibilities of stretching canvas over zoomorphic frames, in the manner of Japanese kite-makers, has even stretched a gigantic mask for painting. His color, always strong and usually