Elizabeth M. Polley

  • Dan Szpakowski

    Szpakowski shows both paintings and drawings here. He identifies with that group of Sacramento artists who examine the landscape of the surrounding area with an eye to its structure rather than sweetly describing it. But he varies in that he chooses his subjects from mountain tops: creeping snowpacks, precarious rockfalls and flying wedges of forest. Subjects which offer compelling diagonals in contrast to the endless horizontals of the Valley floor. Szpakowski is at his best in those small drawings where strong oblique lines trace the special flaws in a rock, or a glacier, which are first to

  • Warren Parker and Victor Heady

    The Vido is Sacramento’s newest gallery, located in Town and Country suburb. Its current exhibition roster indicates that it will cater to the more plebian tastes of the suburbanite. Which confronts Heady and his partner, Don Wilson, who own the gallery, with a problem of policy: determining their responsibilities as tastemakers as well as merchandisers.

    This small opening show features an exhibition of works done in the past three years by Parker, a young man of very irregular performance, and a token show by Heady, himself. Since the gallery is small (though tastefully appointed) and emphasis

  • Joseph Mallard William Turner

    This first comprehensive American exhibition and only West Coast showing of his watercolors re-establishes Turner as one of the most complex and contradictory artists England has produced. Circulated under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, it is intended to illustrate the extraordinary range and versatility of Turner’s genius. This it does, magnificently, insofar as 80 watercolors can represent an artist who is known to have produced some 19,000 of them during his long career. Emphasis is upon his lesser-known early and late periods, tracing his development from a mannered watercolor

  • Northern California Annual

    Northern California Arts, Inc., formed in 1937 as a service organization to promote art activities in the community, has had its ups and downs, swinging fitfully between “modern” and “conservative” styles of painting.

    In this, its 10th Annual Open Exhibition, it goes conservative to the point of being reactionary. Apparently the artists noted the jury panel, comprised of Ken Morrow, Dr. Marcus Reitzel, and Robert Rischell, and the outmoded terminology, and submitted accordingly. Why, after 26 years, this organization still clings to the silly categorizing of its shows into modern and conservative

  • 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,

  • “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