Joanna C. Magloff

  • “Thirty Sculptors”; Charles Gill and Robert McLean

    This unusual cooperative gallery, backed in spirit by every artist in the Bay Area and in fact by twenty, has put together the finest sculpture show in northern Cali­fornia this year (i.e., before the massive all-California show at the Oakland Museum). A few names were omitted, most­ly for reasons of exigency, but the show is largely representative of the varied climate of action the sculptors in north­ern California have created. The show was set up by the artists who turned the considerable difficulty of mounting nearly seventy pieces in a gallery into a fait accompli.

    Although the exhibition

  • Patricia Oberhaus, Kay Armstrong, Harry Crotty, and Richard McLean

    Shades of Arthur B. Davies! Patricia Oberhaus exhibits a large number of small car­toons, elaborately framed and dated circa 1898. As a serious art effort they are negligible, but as humor, whimsy and cornball nostalgia they come off just fine.

    Harry Crotty is from the airy cubism (Herbert Ferber) generation of sculp­tors and carries on this style without much feeling, but with considerable craftsmanship and technical know-how. His cut-out shapes are assembled in an architectural fashion and remarkably balanced. The sharp points of the upper pieces are inserted into grooves, this balance being

  • California College of Arts and Crafts Outdoor Art Fair

    A few mature artists who have exhibited publicly and are only nominally stu­dents are noticeable in what is, on the whole, an insipid student show. Dicren Injeyan has a comic sense of reality that enables him to make light of his morbid format. Injeyan mashes together parts of the body and a kind of circus sym­bolism to expose a startling scatologi­cal outlook. The localized image is af­fixed in a brightly colored field and bordered on the bottom by meaningless noise-words (e.g., “peeppeeppeepe”). His work is tunny, vicious and sardonic, but not depraved. His color range is still a bit weak and

  • Martin Muller and Donald Sprinkling

    Muller’s drawings are as trivial in subject matter as they are in size, being nothing more than slightly morbid plant-like forms done with an abstract expressionist flourish. The raw material for his collages has been cut from girlie magazines. Muller then converts these unfortunate young ladies into hermaphrodites. He also does a Bruce Conner every now and then.

    If Edward Kienholz, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell and Marisol were not practicing artists, it might be possible to take Sprinkling’s work as a serious comment on life via the junk world. Since these artists are definitely in existence,

  • Louis Gutierrez

    Gutierrez is a young painter and col­lagist whose recent work is academically stifling and bears a strong similarity to Italian and Spanish formalism. His col­lages (which make up this show) are built out of corrugated cardboard squares stapled over each other and painted a single dull color, usually grey. As a final touch they are unpleasantly glazed with waterproof glue. To judge from the titles (e.g., “Light Available”) Gutierrez seems to be undertaking a study in luminosity, but the insipid character of the work belies this idea. Gutierrez has apparently become so entranced with the task of

  • Group Show

    This show is a fill-in that is doubling as an introduction to some new artists the gallery represents. Mel Ramos is a Sacramento pop artist who is trying to cut in on Roy Lichtenstein’s corner of the comic-book market. Ramos offers juicy illustrations of Superman, Batman and Robin and other folk heroes. These are early works and perhaps the only objection that can be raised at this point is that it is dirty pool to steal Wayne Thiebaud’s idiomatic brush-stroke, although, under the peculiar sanctions of pop art it is legitimate to appropriate any subject-matter that lies at hand, even if it

  • Franklin Williams and Jose Manuel dos Santos Cross

    Williams executes tiny pencil drawings and collages with pathological intensity and care to reach a morbid and sub­jective end. José (as he signs his works) produces drawings that might be suit­able for decorating a bad novel by Anaïs Nin and titles them Cosmologi­cal Explorations, Discoveries in the Month of April.

    ––Joanna C. Magloff

  • Group Show

    Four eye-stopping canvases by Keith Boyle prove that a fill-in show need not be dull. Boyle is an enormously talented artist who can turn insignificant de­signs and brassy colors into a rich pic­torial statement. He paints a hard edge, but this is not hard-edge painting be­cause the form, not its boundaries, is the predominant structural device. The edge only marks the limits within which a shape or color can act. Occasionally army insignia and emblems that re­semble civil defense signs appear in his canvases, but are divested of their sociological connections. Once they were cliches; now they

  • Tom Holland

    When the importance of symbols first opened the arts to a new kind of consciousness, a symbol was believed to have an immediate correspondence to a physical entity. Klee first, then Gorky, Johns, Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, David Smith and many of the pop artists have shown that the information a symbol releases depends heavily upon the way the work of art is organized and that symbols are not universals. Information as organization is fast becoming the most important visual idea in this country.

    Holland re-shapes perceptual habits with a vengeance. He exposes the idea of landscape as a cliche

  • “Prints by Kandinsky Contemporaries”

    A minor graphics display accompanies the Kandinsky exhibit and is intended to provide historical perspective. The roster of printmakers is distinguished (Marc, Nolde, Barlach, Campendonk, etc.). However, the lack of a first-rate work by any one of them leaves the impression that Kandinsky arose in a vacuum and opposed a stagnating art, which is untrue. This period was filled with good graphic art and it would have been nice to have seen just a little of it.

    Joanna C. Magloff

  • First National Invitational Ceramic Exhibition

    Ceramics can be more than pottery and pottery can be more than craft, but that was not the case here. Workmanship was obvious, but the deepest level of insight was reached by the faculty members who set the show against fragments of a weather-stained barn.

    Little bumps were stuck all over two vases by Robert Sperry. F. Carlton Ball covered the top of a huge stoneware jug with mouth-like discs (and titled it Fungus). These things were ornaments because they were not essential to the objects involved, but they were also the only ceramics that even hinted that their makers remotely desired to explore

  • James Mitchell

    Eight topics, largely genre studies, are covered by this young photographer in a black and white show. His method is to include as many figures or objects as will fit within a frame and to shoot them at semi-random angles. The result is generally patchy and lacks focus. Mitchell relies heavily on emotional cliches (bohemians, blind children) and his camera adds nothing new to them. However, one series, paper cups discarded among leaves, captures a design that is pleasant, if not especially imaginative.

    Joanna C. Magloff