Hal Fischer

  • Lewis Baltz

    Since his “New Industrial Parks near Irvine, CA” series, Lewis Baltz’s work has grown more expansive in content and at the same time more impartial in description. “Industrial Parks” brought a formalist vision to photography; stark images displayed Minimalist or reductivist interests, immediately linking them to mainstream art concerns. However, in these pictures the photographer emphasized geometric structuring to the point that attitudes central to the panoramic and traditional landscape remained unexplored.

    In the “Nevada” portfolio, 15 images shot in counties surrounding Reno, topographic

  • Helene Aylon

    In the early 1970s Helene Aylon created “paintings that change in time,” process works in which oil, dyes and paint were placed on resistant brown paper and sandwiched between nonporous surfaces such as plexiglass. The artist’s primary goal with these works was to observe the transformations that occurred after the piece was assembled. As a body of work they attracted attention for their uniqueness of both material and process. But by the nature of the technique and somewhat unprogrammed material, they lacked visual cohesiveness.

    In Aylon’s most recent work, the formative process takes place as

  • Brian Longe

    A combination of spatial exploration and primitive inference characterizes Brian Longe’s compositions. After painting a paddlelike form onto a traditional rectangle, the artist cuts it out, producing an irregularly shaped work. The unbacked canvas, on which the undercoating is visible, is then tacked tightly to the wall, creating a dialogue between the smooth wall surface and the painted canvas field. The illusion produced by the convergence of wall and canvas is heightened by the isolation of the individual canvases from one another within the gallery, as well as the paddle shape, which extends

  • Winston Tong

    “Solos,” an anthology of ten performance works by Winston Tong, draws from an array of sources: the artist uses the works of Rimbaud, Satie, Gershwin, Nijinsky and Chopin, to name a few. He brings to these pieces his own talents as mime, puppeteer and multimedia artist. Nevertheless, in the final production craft and reference merge into a form that is more structurally varied than conventional theatre and more illusionistic (and deliberately entertaining) than the usual performance art offerings.

    Tong juxtaposes the unanticipated so that his works take on the appearance and feeling of ritual.

  • The Art of Peter Voulkos

    FOR HIS SEMINAL ROLE in the West Coast Abstract Expressionist clay movement of the 1950s. Peter Voulkos is celebrated as cultural hero both in the ceramics field and in California art in general. His work, however, ranging from clay vessels to massive bronze sculpture, is disarmingly diverse in style, scale and sheer quantity. Criticism invariably concentrates on the Abstract Expressionist work and on Voulkos’ vibrant personality, propelling his personal aura and sustaining a legend of superhuman clay-throwing abilities. Nevertheless, since 1960 Voulkos’ primary concern has been metal sculpture,

  • Lynn Hershman

    Lynn Hershman has established herself as a West Coast based entrepreneur/surrealist. A furnished tableau with in-the-bed mannequins at the Dante Hotel and window displays for Bon-wit Teller captured viewers’ imaginations with a combination of theatre and public relations. When a nighttime visitor to the Dante Hotel thought the tableau was vivant he called the police. They terminated the work, immediately imbuing it with eternal recognition. In New York Hershman won notoriety for being the first artist to do Bonwit’s windows since Salvador Dali broke the plate glass in the midst of a 1930s tantrum.

  • Jack Scott

    Working on large (8 1/2 by 9 feet) unstretched canvases, Jack Scott draws charcoal arcs in a freehand style. Through placement and density the arcs create patterns of light and dark, vibrating with a luminescence unanticipated by the rawness of the materials. In previous works the arcs coalesced into amorphous forms—romantic sensations suggesting clouds, smoke or fog. With his recent works Scott introduces a concrete graphic form, large bisecting arcs that are giant magnifications of the minutely rendered arcs. Environmental romanticism yields to a bolder sensibility, as these shapes bear

  • Beeldend Theater Group

    The Floating Museum, an alternative network that has sponsored artists’ events both in this country and Europe, occupied two galleries at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this summer. Billed as “The Global Space Invasion Part II,” the SFMMA was host to six gallery exhibitions and several weeks of continuous performance art. Artists from Holland, France and Australia participated, as well as legions of local artists. Nevertheless, with the exception of a few performance works and sporadic gallery selections. the “Invasion” evidenced an unfocused, free-for-all atmosphere.

    The most notable

  • Darryl Sapien

    Darryl Sapien has staged several important performance works in which a central concept is conflict or opposition culminating in celebratory resolution. Often dramatic in location or ritualization, Sapien employed only one or two characters, carrying out simple but thought-provoking activities. In his performances there exists both a sense of positivism and feeling for humanity.

    Crime in the Streets, staged in Adler Alley in North Beach, was a magnification of the artist’s concerns which employed a large cast. props, including a vertically expanding forklift, and a futuristic script on urban

  • Harry Bowers

    Harry Bowers’ photographs manifest the ambience and premeditated naiveté of much northern California art. Two years ago—in his first solo exhibition—he showed his “Summer Icons” series, dye transfer images that used lush, expressionistic color to describe the languidly sensual beach culture. His most recent works are monumental, 30-by-40-inch type C photographs that combine decorative aura with autobiographical sensibility.

    Bowers’ pictures are tableaus of clothes—silk pajamas, print dresses, and velvet coats which anthropomorphize into a pas de deux featuring himself and his wife, Jane. The

  • Catherine Wagner

    Working in deserted industrial districts and suburban construction sites, Catherine Wagner photographs evocative but anonymous subject matter. Distinct from Lewis Baltz, who initially popularized this genre by translating industrial parks into photographic Minimalism, Wagner does not confine herself to either one specific subject or approach. Instead, she displays a photographic eclecticism which fuses mundane imagery with a variety of stylistic concerns more commonly associated with painting.

    By using light in a descriptively illusionistic fashion, Wagner transforms banal content into ethereal

  • Ant Farm

    Ant Farm, a San Francisco-based collective, has produced several works, featuring that American culture icon—the automobile. In 1974 Ant Farm created the Cadillac Ranch, 10 vintage Cadillacs (1948–1962) planted nose down alongside Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas. A less sedate project, Media Burn, consisted of a specially revamped Cadillac crashing through a barricade of burning television sets in the parking lot of San Francisco’s Cow Palace in 1975. Ant Farm has lovingly documented its own projects as well as the heyday of the automotive industry in Automerica, “a trip down U.S. Highways from