Jeff Perrone

  • Introductions ’77

    Even though it is becoming more frequent for San Franciscans, like their New York counterparts, to head off to Europe during the summer, the most lively part of the season still seems the summer “Introductions.” Complaints are often heard regarding the selection of artists who are “introduced,” how the newcomers look all too much like gallery regulars, or how the young are safely tucked away during the traditionally dead months when no one goes to the galleries. But this program does offer a chance for the local audience to see art made in Sacramento, Eureka, even Nevada and Idaho.

    A local squabble

  • Eva Hesse

    Lucy Lippard, Eva Hesse (New York: New York University Press), 1976, 249 pages, 263 illustrations.

    LUCY LIPPARD DEALS WITH A body of work that has been surrounded by partisan excess, but she strikes a balanced pose, without dramatic claims, intense personal confessions or far-flung rhetoric. Scholarly and even-toned, her prose is matter-of-fact and almost dry in many places. Somehow Lippard manages to skirt the academic, and nothing seems unthinking or taken for granted. If pared-down prose can be a sign of simplemindedness, here it is the distillation of thought, consciously unadorned.

    As a critic

  • Robert Arneson

    Most of us have made clay ashtrays. It is an almost primal manipulation of material—the formation of the useful out of the unstructured earthen lump. Although Robert Arneson reacquaints us with this experience (the archetypal bourgeois child’s initiation into “creativity”), he would probably laugh at any deep primal significance. The “giving of form to the formless,” as if children were little gods out of Genesis, doesn’t sound quite right because it’s too serious. Arneson knows that a medium like ceramics can’t support metaphysical speculation, and he refuses to play his hand with a straight

  • Valerie Jaudon

    Valerie Jaudon’s paintings brought something to my attention which is difficult to explain. (This difficulty is not what interests me, however.) The best way of putting it is that they do not seem to be abstract as much as representational of the abstract. They do not “represent” other abstract paintings or objects, nor do they parody them. They do not turn abstraction into a cartoon of itself. I don’t mean that her paintings relate to abstraction as realist painting does to its ostensible subject matter. The paintings do not represent an instance of the abstract, of abstraction. They present

  • Giorgio Cavallon

    Giorgio Cavallon was represented this spring by three large shows. Early paintings, from the ’50s, were exhibited at Learmonth. A much better group of new paintings were shown at Gruenebaum. (There was a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, too, but I did not see it.)

    The main feature of Cavallon’s paintings is their presentation of a certain, but ambiguous, kind of light. Hilton Kramer, in an unusually poetic mood, calls this emanation “a delicate white radiance, romantic and other-worldly.” Almost all the more interesting paintings have an underlayer suggestive of grid-like structures, blocked

  • Marco Gastini

    I know nothing about Marco Gastini. I did not ask anything about him. I have never seen any of his other work, and I have never read anything about him. So there, in the empty gallery, I had nothing to fall back on. I could be a naif. I prepared myself to be “uninitiated,” and operated under those conditions.

    The show consisted of a large number of different-sized, but rather smallish canvases. These were arranged at random, as far as I could tell, although there was a vague crosslike arrangement on one of the walls. Each wall was covered from top to bottom, although not necessarily side to side

  • John Baldessari and Daniel Buren

    The Matrix Gallery is a section of the Wadsworth Atheneum which has provocative shows for the region it serves, although its choices are fairly New York establishment. What was interesting about this particular show was the presentation of two artists, and two artists whose art is obviously so different. John Baldessari’s photographs were chosen to point up his interest in color. Some of the newer sequences were shown at the Whitney Biennial; others were more than five years old. Color is a feature of his work that most people have not discussed, except to call it “sumptuous,” which doesn’t say

  • Pat Lasch

    Pat Lasch’s “Family Portraits” resemble cakes. They are white or pink, decorated with thin, icinglike paint. Delicate streamers of “frosting” mesh into ribbons or parting curtains. Sometimes the surfaces break out into roses with discreet green leaves. They resemble old-fashioned announcement cards, or sometimes stages. But they are really like shrines. In the center of each work is one or more photograph, always of a member of the Lasch family. A cake indicates a special occasion. On special occasions one brings out the camera.

    One is titled Blood Is Thicker Than Water But We’re Still Lovers.

  • Roy De Forest

    It was good to see Joan Brown in the Whitney Biennial, but I wish someone like Roy De Forest could have been there too. By herself, Brown was funky and provincial. With another artist like De Forest, we might have started to understand the strength of figurative painting in this country. It would have demonstrated how different this kind of painting can be even when it shares a common sensibility. Both De Forest and Brown speak to a highly knowledgeable, connoisseur audience which is for the most part unconcerned with the New York scene. Both work with overt subject matter, narrative, and

  • Tony Robbin

    Perhaps I’ve grown up on too much literalist art. No matter how much so-called illusion there is in a painting, I just see something flat. Many people can’t seem to get over the illusionism in Tony Robbin’s work, and I don’t get it. I might quote Bruce Boice: “One kind of illusion is as real as another, and illusion is as real as any other allegedly real entity. A still-life painting is not less real than Carl Andre’s fire bricks. Illusion is a possibility, and in a certain sense, a necessity.” Boice was writing about representational art, but here it’s abstraction. Since there is no art which

  • Bryan Hunt

    Bryan Hunt’s sculptures are derived from the shapes and volumes of bodies of water. The forms are cast in metal and placed on the floor; they have planar tops and jagged bottoms, indicating the changing depths of the water. Some have “holes” which translate into islands. Each work is small, and the tops—the “surface” of the water—tip at different angles. There is also one drawing of a blimp. The relationship between lakes and blimps is that we are meant to be flying over the lakes, experiencing the sculptures from a bird’s-eye point of view. As we tilt and turn in the air, our sense of “level”

  • Chris Burden

    There was much to read and listen to, and very little to look at, in Chris Burden’s show. Well, there was the car, which I will get to later. And there were drawings, pencilled plans for the car, matched only by the videotapes in sheer sloppiness and institutionalized informality. Burden seems to be playing at celebrity: he has “Bob” Irwin and Alexis Smith execute some of “his” drawings for him, thus establishing his status in the L.A. art world. We also learn that Smith is his new girlfriend. She giggles politely every time Chris tells a joke on the TV.

    If this seems peripheral, the main attraction