John Coplans

  • Photography at “Arts of San Francisco”

    TWELVE PHOTOGRAPGERS ARE REPRESENTED: Ruth Bernhard, Don Worth, William Garnett, Richard Sherman, Bill Gamble, Ross Mandel, Wynne Bullock, Bob Coyne, Jack Welport, Margeret Halderman, Wayne Miller, Barbara Cannon Myers and David Holman.

    One immediately presupposes from the hanging of this exhibition in the corridor of the Museum that photography is a minor art unworthy of the full presentation granted to either painting, sculpture or architecture. After all corridors, being access to and from someplace, are really an ideal environment for this media which has no tradition. Proof of the ability

  • “Commercial Arts of the Bay Area”

    Until such time as a different concept of a museum exists, the San Francisco Museum of Art, in exhibiting the industrial and graphic arts of the Bay Area is still expected to play the role of an aesthetic guide.

    Suffering as we do nowadays from what may be described as coca-cola-itis, (the Jack Tar Hotel, San Francisco, is a perfect example of this diseased outlook); where nearly everything manufactured is flashy and stupid, glossy and garish, chromed and luridly colored; a continuous flow of mass produced articles which are commercially attractive, but essentially unreal. They arise out of an

  • Eugene Berman

    In the thirties Berman was an artist noted for his ballet, theatre and stage designs. He activated his imagery with those ideas that Dali and Chirico shared in common at the height of metaphysical surrealism. Now, some thirty years later, he currently exhibits a series of recent drawings, skillfully executed, elegant and sophisticated, which recreate for the observer 18th century Italian Baroque. An ideal kind of art for those people who are cultural refugees from the twentieth century.

    —John Coplans

  • Dimitri Grachis

    Grachis has stripped his canvas of all pretensions or borrowed gestures. On a white paint textured surface he manipulates a limited number of small forms . . . circles and rectangles in light or dark blue, sometimes one is yellow, all loosely brushed in. He uses this sparse imagery to perceptually engage the spectators attention, but without the employment of optical or eye ball flicker, but rather by a refined plastic sensibility.

    —John Coplans

  • “Summer Group Exhibition”

    In this half of the exhibition three painters are shown, Hassel Smith, Roy de Forest and Leslie Kerr, and three sculptors, Wilfrid Zogbaum, Sidney Gordin and Charles Ross. All are excellent and carefully chosen examples of their work with the exception of Leslie Kerr, who appears to be in a process of metamorphosis.

    —John Coplans

  • Estelle Chaves

    Miss Chaves paints with rigorous precision the abandoned and peopleless Italianate street scene or view through the window to the empty boats and beach. There is little doubt of her virtuosity but one is curious to know what kind of a painter this young Californian would be if she dropped her borrowed mannerism. At the same gallery Ada Garfinkel shows a number of abstracts and Jean Kalisch some cubistic illustrations of the city scene.

    —John Coplans


  • Robert Clutton

    Clutton adopts the doubtful role of a shaman via Celtic and Pre Columbian iconography in his paintings. When he lays aside this priestly role as in a painting entitled Release, his sensibility as a contemporary artist re-asserts itself.

    —John Coplans

  • Joan Miller Linsley

    First exhibition of this artist, whose figurative canvases are plastically naive and sweetly coloured, with the exception of a canvas entitled Eye of the Storm. A sombre, dark and more engaged piece of painting.

    —John Coplans

  • Albert Zoc

    This sculptor appears to be recreating a certain type of Victorian ornamental metal vase which normally is thought to represent the very worst and most hideous aspect of Victorian Industrial Art.

    —John Coplans

  • Farrar Wilson

    Wilson exhibits a series of figurative drawings and totally unrelated abstract paintings made by atomizing paint onto the canvas and then activating the surface with a series of random automitiste palette knife marks that energize the surface.

    —John Coplans


  • Ree Mantz

    A jewelers craft on panels twelve by six inches, which skillfully exploit to the utmost limit the luminosity, lustrous color, and the colloidal nature of enamels. Within the vitrified surfaces One is surprised to notice the abstracted images of angels.

    —John Coplans

  • “Drawing International”

    This exhibition is noteworthy, not for its content, but its omissions. It consists of one hundred drawings selected by Gordon Washburn during his perambulations around the world to pick the last Carnegie International.

    Statistically, at any rate, the British are the topnotch draughtsmen. They are represented by eighteen items, with the Japanese as close runners up with fourteen items. Evidently American artists don’t draw, or if they do, they are not worthy of inclusion, other than the two items by Keonig and Masurorsky.

    The overwhelmingly large British selection amply demonstrates the organizational

  • The 81st Painting Annual

    It is depressing to see an important Museum’s walls plastered with such obvious trivia, tripe and blatent cookery . . . fakes of Pollock, Tapies, Braque, Giacometti, Burri, etc. With students work wallowing in unabsorbed influences such as “my reflections in a window” of Robert Bechtle—crammed with derivations from Giacometti and Bacon via Oliviera; with a slice of Diebenkorn thrown in. With deliberate and obvious jokes such as Adventure by Yloh Wok, (Holy Kow). Out of the one hundred and twelve works exhibited an occasional painting shines through such as One of the Insecta by Sophie Saras.


  • Casey Sonnabend

    In comparison with the usual highly technical and slick photography with which we are used to being barraged by in all printed media, here is the work of a man with a poet’s eye. Intensely aware of human suffering, his photographs, skillfully composed, are without sentimentality. Quietly and with care they isolate and record a moment of penetrating vision.

    John Coplans

  • John Haley

    What is enjoyable about Haley’s work is his deep concern for painting rather than the search for a brand image. His paintings reflect a deliberate and classical temperament in conflict with the expressionist style he has adopted. A sound painter, he can never sufficiently relax his guard to encourage what might be described as the necessary series of coincidences to free his work from the circumspect mark. Like Guston, he appears to be obsessed with certain ideas of Mondrian in organizing his pictures. In the earlier paintings small brush marks are piled hesitantly, touch by touch, to form the

  • Daniel Shapiro

    Hot on the heels of the Museum of Modern Art “assemblage” exhibition, recently shown at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Shapiro, better known as an intelligent and sensitive printmaker, exhibits a number of “assemblages” (his titling).

    They consist in the main of those items of women’s underclothing which are heavily advertised with the appropriate chi-chi drawings in mass circulation media: brassieres, girdles, etc., juxtaposed against crushed tins, cut out circular lids of tins, string, shoe soles, etc. But unlike Bruce Connor, who uses sexual and erotic iconography for its capacity of direct

  • Mel Brenner

    These landscapes of Brenner’s are the most exasperating kind of painting to have to look at, let alone review. So happily middle of the road, without any excitement, plastic adventure or committal.

    John Coplans

  • Barry Hall

    In the theatrical world, mimicry and impersonation, is not only legitimate, but if well done is applauded. In the world of art, however, it is inadmissible. Barry Hall, a young painter, demonstrates his ability to feign the color, form and imagery of Alan Davie, but only those ignorant of Davie’s work would be deceived. He also exhibits a number of small sculptures after Eduardo Paolozzi.

    John Coplans

  • Group Exhibition

    An exhibition of small paintings by Wayne Thiebaud (of bakery fame), Peter Shoemaker, Gene Viacrucis, (a veritable acrobat of styles), Ralph Johnson, Gloria Brown and Nepote.

    John Coplans