Elizabeth M. Polley

  • Group Show

    A continuation of last month’s group show, with individual replacements as pieces are sold or loaned. Keith Boyle, Geoffrey Bowman, George Miyasaki, Tom Holland, Kishi, and sculptors Charles Mattox and Robert Hudson, from Lanyon’s regular stable of artists, are represented, along with an intimate little wall show of delicate prints by Ryanosuki Fukui.

    Boyle’s new direction seems to be toward brighter hues and harder edges, although he was never known for muted color and fuzzy shapes. Bird Feathers, his special offering here, keeps the bird in a green and embryonic condition, but the brilliant

  • Henry Rasmussen

    One hundred prints by 20 contemporary Greek artists, representing a high achievement in the use of materials, an understanding of international expressions, and a paucity of individual initiative and imagination; and monoprints by a Marin County artist who has pressed this method about as far as it will go.

    That the Greek printmakers, as represented here, have shown so little interest in developing any special national distinction is disappointing, although no one can deprecate their technical proficiency. Most of these exhibitors are well over 40, indicating that they have had time to make some

  • Melanesian Art

    The University of California's Lowie Museum presents an extensive showing of art from the New Guinea area.

    A REVOLUTION IN TASTE was brought about by the dis­covery of primitive art. It was a discovery of great importance, not only for its direct influence on modern art, but for its own sake and for the as yet unexhausted ideas it could supply contemporary ar­tists. Although initiated by the anthropologist’s curi­osity in man’s work, it has reached a new public this past half-century through the advanced vision of the artist. Actually a gradual awareness more than a dis­covery, its diffusion has depended not only on the nature of the art, but also on that special concept of humanity that all men are,

  • “Eskimo Prints”

    A new Eskimo art form was created when, in 1959, the Northern Affairs and National Resources Bureau of the Canadian Government established a craft center for printmaking at Cape Dorset, a small Arctic village on Baffin Island formerly known as Fox Peninsula.

    Evidence of the universal appeal of the prints is revealed in attendance records at exhibitions of such collections as that of Lilly Weil Jaffe of San Francisco, now committed to a busy exhibition schedule including galleries and universities in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Oakland, Stanford and Santa Fe. This sudden, maybe too sudden,

  • “Bay Area Group”

    One recent major painting each from Joel Barletta, Lundy Siegriest, Ralph T. Field, and William Wiley. Tapestry by Mark Adams. These artists have selected large paintings, indicative of their latest directions. Highlighting the show is the enormous tapestry, “Great Wing,” designed by Adams and woven in France by Paul Avignon. It was exhibited last summer in the Biennale International of Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland, but has not been previously shown in San Francisco. By spreading the wrist section of a huge wing diagonally across the picture plane, developing the feather pattern in brilliant

  • Martin Baer, Amy Fleming, Jack Zajac and Harry Crotty

    Traditional and abstract approaches to painting, traditional and articulated sculpture in old and new materials. In this survey of the career of Martin Baer (1894–1961) the earliest works are mainly of biographical interest, revealing him as a quasi-romanticist who loved travel but lacked the depth of feeling to fully respond to environment. His work in Algeria, for instance, was far more reportorial than inspired. In his later years, while living in California, his style loosened, and his palette became vibrant with high-keyed color. Abandoning his earlier people-watching attitude and involving

  • Harry Bowden and Eugene Courtois

    Landscapes and figures by a refugee from abstraction, and sensitive studies of falcons and torsos by a young unknown. Harry Bowden (Calif.), a onetime student of, and later, assistant to Hans Hofmann, was one of the first American artists to break through into abstraction. Recently returned to figuration, Bowden builds up his landscapes, the better of his works in this show, from an “inner painting” much in the manner of Cézanne, finishing with energetic strokes of fat paint in rich color. This loose surface brushwork is the only remaining trace of Hofmann’s influence. He often uses a bridge as

  • Bella Feldman and Erik Gronborg

    Perhaps the most striking development in contemporary art is the renewal of interest in the object—and the effort of the artist to see the object as poetry. Both Feldman and Gronborg make this effort, with Gronborg being the more successful in this exhibition.

    Mrs. Feldman, mannered at times, is more notable for her metal textures than her subject interpretation. Two figure pieces present current aspects of handling the nude: “Bone Torso,” reclining on its side, is interesting as shape but becomes repellent as subject matter, raising the hope that contemporary artists will soon tire of the too,

  • Ernest Lacy

    Figures and still lifes, mainly. There are contemporary painters who remain nonentities without being bad. Non-entities because they have no content; not bad, because they generally follow the lines of a well-accepted pattern. Lacy falls into this category. His figures come from Michelangelo by way of Kokoschka and Corinth, with some innovations of his own. He makes no attempt to disguise his sources. But his development deserves watching—there are few artists his age with surer draftsmanship.

    Elizabeth M. Polley



  • Gertrude Venton

    Abstract expressionism, derived from landscape. Miss Venton vacillates between figurative and non-figurative work, with bold color and some very confused brushwork. Ruthless pruning could have given her a small, acceptable exhibition.

    Elizabeth M. Polley

  • “Limited Pulls”

    Signed limited editions from artists of Atelier 17, Paris, including a number from the master printer, Hayter, are featured at this little gallery specializing in contemporary prints. A choice selection by Marian Britton, director.

    Elizabeth M. Polley

  • Alexander Nepote, Ken Morrow and Tio Giambruni

    Oils, watercolors, collages, cast bronzes and one tentacled magna-site creation by three well-established Bay Area artists.

    Nepote has developed the infinite patterns of bare rocks, tumbling waters and snowdrifts of the High Sierras into an individual statement about variables and constants and primordial beginnings—the causa causans of the fields and rivers in the rich valley below. He is not obvious or sentimental about this, his work at first impresses solely by its powerful abstract design, as exciting to the artist as to the geologist or philosopher.

    Where Nepote raids geology for inspiration,

  • Edgar Dorsey Taylor and Gail Wong

    Woodblock prints of Mexican subjects and European cafe society, romantic abstraction by a young Boston artist now living in California, plus a group show of works from the Sacramento Artists League and some prize-winning photographs from the Sierra Camera Club.

    Taylor has the outstanding show here, with a tremendous range of subject matter and extraordinary capability in woodcutting. At times frankly illustrative, he can also be as expressionistic as either Munch or Schmidt-Rottluff. Coastal Baja California, with its brilliant sunshine and spectral landscape, lends itself to black-and-white, and

  • Jack Jefferson

    An eight-year retrospective of Jefferson’s work, beginning with canvases characterized by an overall complexity and including his latest Embarcadero series. In these latter he is concerned with the central image, suggesting geographical location by means of color and what seems to be a waterfront profile. In a series concerned with Mission Street, beginning in 1957 and developed concurrently with another series on Jackson Street, Jefferson often used dark and murky colors, with the brush stroke pacing the eye up and across the canvas. These were the moods of the streets.

    The Embarcadero series

  • “Asian Art”

    The 40 pieces of Oriental art from the collection of members of the Society for Asian Art came down to make room for installation of a photographic exhibition discussed elsewhere in this issue. A small, choice selection of paintings, sculptures, ritual vessels, and Haniwa figures, covering periods from the third century B.C. to the 19th century A.D., it was the first of a series planned to present selections from members’ collections, and fortunately for reviewers, subsequent shows will be devoted to more specific themes.

    Almost lost in this exhibition of more exotic items were two wonderfully

  • Frederick Hammersley and Julius Wasserstein

    Polarities of abstraction here. Hammersley, a pure geometrist, has a gay and colorful show with aspects of a signalman’s washday. The canvases line the walls in an array of classically ordered, clearly defined, flat-colored geometric shapes: triangles, rectangles, circles in triangles, circles in rectangles, even double circles with interlocking parabolas. His idiom seems to have been born of the same need for clarity in art that prompted David to lead the return to classicism and order at the turn of the 19th century. Everything is controlled: by direction and counter direction, position and

  • Samuel Marsden Brookes

    Still lifes by an artist celebrated in his own time as a painter of fish and fruit, although his income was mainly from portraits until he came to California in 1853. Three late portraits, imitative of photography, are included in this show. They do not add to the artist’s stature. The still lifes fall into two distinct groups: the “nature morte” of bric-a-brac and pantry items, which are less than mediocre, and the “Stilleben” of freshly picked fruit or still warm game, which are very good and sometimes cruelly beautiful. Brookes (1816–1892) was at his best with birds and fish. He was a past

  • Lionel Talbot and Daniel Mendelowitz

    Talbot’s first one-man show, of children and their pets in intimate settings. Although not actually derivative, there is a suggestion of both Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec in Talbot’s intimisms, and even a bit of Soutine in one picture of a knowing old butler serving a sippy. It is Mendelowitz’s eighth solo show in San Francisco and presents his impressions on a recent trip to Italy. To accommodate atmospheric changes he adopted a free-floating style of application that has cost him his usual crispness.

    Elizabeth M. Polley