Joanna C. Magloff

  • “Painting, Drawing—'63”

    The excellence of this annual is partly due to the juror, Tony DeLap, who abandoned from the start any attempt to produce another “Bay Area image” show and selected the work according to his personal taste. DeLap capped his selection by giving the top award to the most exciting painting in the show. John Richards mounted the exhibit so that the paintings complemented each other.

    Ronald Davis took the first prize with a magnificent hard-edge optical illusion painting, titled Roll Your Own. Painted to suggest two drums covered with stripes and repeated motifs whirling in opposite directions, it

  • Group Show

    It is perhaps not surprising that a group show at this gallery of small, inexpensive works for giving should turn into a first-rate drawing exhibition. In many cases the real strength of the gallery artists lies in their ability to draw. Charles Gill, for one, nearly always draws well. There is a certain inherent strength in the way he breaks up a drawing from within to reflect the picture edge (in a manner so stylized as to make the comment ironic). Gill will draw a nude, and bisect the sketch with a horizontal line. Although nothing has really been interrupted, one tends to read the drawing

  • Group Show

    In the almost endless space of this vast, plush gallery were shown paintings by such venerables as Arthur B. Davies, George Luks, Winslow Homer, Prendergast, Robert Henri, Bouguereau, Dufy, Modigliani, Matisse, Mary Cassatt, etc. The only work absent was the customary Renoir. The Homer was so frightfully dull-colored that it is shocking to think this artist ever painted anything that bad. The paint on the Arthur B. Davies nymph scene seems to have oxidized to a dull, dark rust; at any rate, something is drastically wrong with the color on that canvas. The Prendergast is not bad and the same,

  • Al Proom, Peter Voulkos and Sam Tchakalian

    Magic realism involves a technique that has very little of the artist’s hand in it (in the sense of a signature). Its subject matter is the transformation or alteration of mundane things in the direction of the ironical or unexpected. The merits of this sort of painting lie in a highly literary and specific combination of elements, as in George Tooker’s subway paintings. Al Proom does not consider the implications of the style he has chosen. He makes little attempt to modify what he sees and the attempts he does make (such as slipping cards into a bunch of grapes) are often so minor as to be

  • Group Show

    Two small paintings by James Monte are the best in the show. Monte is currently concerned with symbolic doors, windows, entrances, i.e., with experiential subject matter as a frame, threshold or beginning. In these paintings Monte handles the problem of boundary and closure by painting a cluster of forms, breaking them off suddenly and starting other clusters. From this he obtains a magic box effect that is well and tastefully made. Gerd Stern shows a small relief sculpture poem, a wooden arch mounted on an aluminum sheet. Titled “Help,” the two ends of the arch are wrapped with semi-random

  • Group Show

    Two small, round plaques by Faralla are the highlights of this exhibit. Faralla’s greatest difficulty lies in the fact that his framer’s scraps bear a strong superficial resemblance to Louise Nevelson’s furniture-components. Nevertheless, their art takes a totally different shape from each other. Nevelson is building systems; her sculpture is syncretic and morphological. It is sculpture utilizing all the depth it can muster given its limitations. Faralla’s work is almost exactly the opposite. His is an art of elegant surfaces, of an all-over rhythm; the high and the low points in any one of his

  • William H. M. Weber

    William Weber is an apparently successful painter with a highly flexible style that could be called semi-high-class-neo-fine-art illustration. Weber’s painting is not crass or glaringly ugly, but then it is not what one would call rich in plastic values either. It is like the best illustrations accompanying the fiction in women’s magazines. Weber is trying to be chi-chi and fashionable and the paintings blatantly that way come off best. He also exhibits several Amish scenes which are a bit too difficult to swallow. In the midst of all this Weber shows a rather sensitive portrait of a balloon-woman.

  • Harry Lum, Tio Giambruni

    Harry Lum’s painting is a strong, full-bodied image that connotes the figure by suggesting its bulk and physical reality rather than by painting it directly (although he occasionally does resort to the form of the body as well as its substance). In some places Lum seems to be picking up from Bacon and Giacometti.

    Abstract expressionism has generally shown an insistence on physical and visual values. Lum accepts these values and carries them over into his loosely figurative subject matter more successfully than many New York painters, notably Elaine de Kooning, have been able to do.

    However, Lum

  • Josef Albers

    The Albers show at the University is actually part of a publicity scheme on the part of Yale University Press to promote its exorbitantly-priced book on color theory by Albers. (No one needs to spend $200 (plus tax) for a treatise on color theory. What Yale Press actually seems to be trying to sell is an enormous portable collection of Albers’ work.) However, it is a convenient way to acquire a rather good Albers show. The exhibit is made up of paintings and plates from the book, some of which were seen in a show at the San Francisco Museum. If this exhibition is any indication, much of Albers

  • Group Show

    Tom Holland’s recent painting is more vividly colored and freely organized than his previous work, but it still retains its powerful totemic significance. Holland’s current exploration of asymmetry is one of his many ways of maintaining a balance between iconic and natural forms, a balance he has also expressed by juxtaposing motifs with constructions and ritual rigidity with mundane symbols.

    Charles Mattox builds sculptures that react to sound or other stimuli by performing remarkably beautiful hypnotic gyrations. From string, plywood, ball weights and a considerable sympathy to the beauty of

  • Delacroix, Ralph Du Casse, Robert Dhaemers, Sundet

    The Eugene Delacroix exhibit consists of small lithographs (including a series of illustrations for Goethe’s Faust), watercolors and etchings borrowed from various California collections. No paintings are shown, but there are a few sculptures which seem to have been made to explore ideas Delacroix found in his painting and which have little independent life of their own. Delacroix seems to have taken no interest in realizing an idea through drawing. The drawings in this show are either shaded to look like paintings or (as in two notebook sheets owned by Vincent Price) are close to being doodles.

  • “East Bay Artist’s Association Exhibition”

    This year’s East Bay Artist’s Exhibition is largely an assembly of artists who manipulate a great variety of devices and design layouts more customarily seen in the applied arts. It is curious that much second-rate painting does not imitate fine art, but rather picks up weak features from commercial art.

    Those who have not settled for contrivances are the best in the show, although their work is, on the whole, mediocre. Henrietta Berk’s landscape is possibly the nicest piece in the show. In this canvas she has handled color with a great deal of sensitivity, but the structure of her painting was