Palmer D. French

  • William King

    In its most engaging exhibition of the season, the San Francisco Museum of Art, leading off the itinerary of a traveling show organized by the Dintenfass Gallery of New York, presented a new series of 14 sculptural constructions by William King. In these works King turns radically away from his former style—the fragile, attenuated figures clearly embodying a classical European heritage transmitted through Giacometti, which King first realized in traditional bronze casting and later translated into amalgams of cloth, polymers and other contemporary “soft” sculptural media—to a fresh and invigorating

  • Richards Ruben

    In an adjacent corridor, mixed media drawings (crayon, oil and oil-pastel on paper) by Richards Ruben featured stylistically manipulated studies of the nude female figure in which erogenous anatomy and erotic gesture provided the dominant motifs for highly intellectualized graphic variations including much double entendre in terms of dormant images and “field-transpositional” dual readabilities. An obvious preoccupation with the optics and dynamics of surface patterning, both in the schematic (and primarily linear and attentive) distribution of a sparsely applied, limited selection of colors,

  • “Arts of San Francisco”

    Reviving the practice of its excellent “Arts of San Francisco” program of over two years ago, the San Francisco Museum of Art inaugurated its 1970 exhibition calendar with three concurrent one-man shows by Bay Area artists, in this instance, Jerry Ballaine, Fletcher Benton and Sam Richardson. Installed as the Museum’s feature presentation for the month of January this triad of exhibitions occupied three large galleries and comprised an in-depth survey of recent trends in the work of these artists.

    Mr. Ballaine was represented by 20 vacuum-formed-plastic wall plaque reliefs from his 1969 Air Tight

  • Carson Jeffries, Jack Ward, Joe Riccio, Howard Jones and Jim Pennuto

    Artistically oriented technologists, as well as technologically oriented artists, were represented in the small but diversified selection of machines, electronic devices, optical systems, constructions, and kinetic sculptures which comprised the inventory of an exhibition entitled “Kinetic Light Show” recently presented at the Galeria Carl Van der Voort. Carson Jeffries, a professor of physics (UC, Berkeley) currently collaborating in an interdisciplinary symposium involving relationships between recent developments in physical technology on the one hand, and the graphic, plastic and performing

  • Toni Onley

    A large selection of serigraphs by the Canadian artist Toni Onley was exhibited recently at the Graphics Gallery. Onley’s style of evoking landscape recollections in abstracted, simplified forms and muted pastel colors is unique. It is nature’s quiet moods—the placid majesty of forest vastnesses, the stillness of mountain lakes and the somnolence of mead-owed hillsides and hidden valleys that provide the theme for these tranquilizing works.

    Palmer D. French

  • Gordon Yamamoto

    At the Arleigh Gallery, Gordon Yamamoto exhibited a dozen witty, burlesque charades in leather and in wood (with fittings and incidental accessories of brass and various other materials). The leather pieces were flamboyantly casual cowhide novelties, such as Banana Blanket—Combination Summer & Winter, a small holster-like leather envelope with optional fur lining encasing a banana. Bawdy allusions, visual puns and double entendres abounded, as well, in other cowhide exhibits entitled My Marbles, Zipper, _Dilation, Girl’s Bicycle Seat and Marshmallow Cartridge Belt. Three carefully crafted walnut

  • Alexander Nepote

    At the Quay Gallery, Alexander Nepote exhibited collage paintings executed in acrylics and paper on masonite board in a method and style strongly recalling the collage technique of Don Reich. Nepote’s recent work competently essays a familiar idiom of lithoid, organic free-form composition to which his chosen medium is uniquely suited—the torn edges and flattened crinkles of stiffened paper being readily adaptable to suggesting the ridges and corrugations of natural rock surfaces. In a prolific series embracing such titles as Mossy Rocky Niche, Rocky Slope, Lost Rock, Under the Cliff, Another

  • James Prestini

    Geometrically schematized forms derived from variously combining segments of H-beam, I-beam, cylindrical pipe and other foundry-standardized structural steel elements were the subject of an exhibition of recent sculptures by James Prestini organized by the San Francisco Museum of Art. The almost doctrinaire Bauhaus viewpoint which Prestini acquired in his long affiliation, first as a student and later as an instructor, with the Chicago Institute of Design in the 1940s, persists in his current work and in his expressed artistic platform. Prestini plates his basic steel elements with nickel or

  • Fredric Hobbs

    An exhibition of paintings, sculptures and graphics by the versatile Fredric Hobbs recently shown at the Bolles Gallery featured works in various media which were in one way or another peripheral to the production of Hobbs’ cinema epic in three parts, Troika, and included not only sculptural props used in the film together with working sketches for props, sets and special cinematic effects, but also subsequently conceived variations and adaptations to plastic or graphic media of ideas and motifs explored in the film. Perhaps because cinematography has given a new focus to Hobbs’ diverse interests

  • Boyd Allen and Lee Adair

    At the Berkeley Gallery, Boyd Allen showed neo-Romantic landscape fantasies with variations on a mountain theme. These paintings, of vast unpeopled panoramas, contrast sharply with the earlier series of localized nightmare labyrinths with fugitive, shadowy figures. In that earlier group the pictorial space, although not shallow, was proximate, and tensions were created by a fragmented non-regular grid schematic of composition generating nervous, cross interferential, directional rhythms.

    The recent landscapes feature a striate band composition of perspectively receding horizontals realized

  • Edward L. Higgins and Gerald Walburg

    Two simultaneous exhibitions at the Reese Palley Cellar featured, respectively, paintings by Edward L. Higgins and sculpture by Gerald Walburg. Although topologically interesting manipulation of a three-dimensional planilinear organizational schematic constitutes the predominantly intellectual appeal of the ten elegantly conceived and crafted pieces in black chromed steel which Walburg presented, they were nonetheless designed for wall-mounting and hence explored their geometric theme in terms of “frontal projection” rather than “in the round.” The essential abstract functional format adopted

  • Barbara Rogers

    In a stunning show of large canvass at the Michael Walls Gallery, Barbara Rogers conjures humor fully conceived bucolic fantasies in which voluptuous nude women, often with permanent wave coiffures, are depicted variously in attitudes of languorous luxuriation or of exuberant frolic, in settings of dense tropical foliage, and with exotic birds of brilliant plumage perched on their heads or alighting on their upturned palms. In some of these canvases this theme is treated in a manner unambiguously alluding to the whimsical and richly elaborated jungle fantasies of Henri Rousseau, while in others,

  • Robert Arneson, David Williams, and Werner Jespen

    The Albreaux Gallery recently opened at the Cannery with a group show largely devoted to funk art and, in the main, pieces previously exhibited by artists associated with the regular stables of other galleries. Setting the tone of the show was one of the ceramic toilets executed half a decade ago by Robert Arneson who, as a painter and graphicist rather than as a ceramicist, just opened an extensive exhibition of recent work at the Hansen Gallery.

    The Hansen show finds humor and sophisticatedly flamboyant satire continuing to form the basic mood of Arneson’s work. A large series of canvases are

  • San Francisco

    “Nathan Oliveira, Works on Paper, 1960–1969,” at the San Francisco Museum of Art, consisted of 124 small-format works of the class specified, ranging from casual sketches and graphic improvisations through serially evolving studies for paintings and prints, to carefully finished drawings. While drawings, gouaches, watercolor and acrylic studies predominated, a few lithographs were included, but only in the context of numerous prior hand-sketches leading to the finished conception.

    The nine-year span encompassed by this specialized retrospective show revealed various phases of Oliveira’s development

  • Masando Kito

    These paintings display virtuosity, imagination and diligent meticulousness. Mr. Kito works in oil which he manages to manipulate so as to produce surfaces that have the texture of stone: sometimes moist and porous, sometimes dry and crumbling, and sometimes hard and weathered smooth. So compellingly are these effects achieved that one imagines the tactile properties of the surfaces presented. All of the colors employed are such as one commonly associates with complex organic minerals: copper greens, chalky reds, slate blues, and the carbon blue-black of basalt. The various shapes, graffito

  • Sergio Agostini

    Mr. Agostini’s paintings are concerned with melancholy and usually autumnal agrarian landscapes. He creates a dreamlike quality by the use of horizons-at-infinity and furtive, starkly delineated figures frozen in irrelevant postures and gestures; sometimes, too, the sun is suggested as a black crescent. There are a number of variations on the subject of checkerboard fields with groups of people in the foreground holding aloft bright colored umbrellas. Mr. Agostini applies his color as densely packed, narrow parallel ribbons of paint, or, alternatively, applies a very thin pigment permitting the

  • Brigitte Hauck, Frank Caggegi

    Miss Hauck, currently studying in Mexico, was hardly ready for such a large show. In uniformly dull, muddy colors, she explores a considerable variety of directions, including figurative expressionism, pure abstraction, and symbolism. There is no exuberance, however, to her explorations, but rather an ambivalent tentativeness that conveys an overall mood of restless ennui and noncommitment. Mr. Caggegi, likewise, lacks artistic convictions. His collages, devised principally of colored transparent papers, indicate no concern for style or method: occasional pleasing results seem proportional only

  • San Francisco

    The seemingly unlimited capabilities of the wizards of polymer chemistry to synthesize molecules not found in nature, and thus to create substances not only displaying unique properties, but often fusing, in strange, startling and hitherto impossible and uncontemplated combinations, properties once thought exclusively and inimitably special to certain types of animal, mineral or vegetable substances and by-products—is producing not only for industry but for today’s artists, an apparently inexhaustible variety of highly versatile materials. Popularly designated as plastics, their potentialities

  • Jean Hyson

    A gallery announcement conveys that Miss Hyson was born in Texas in 1928, studied at the Art Students’ League with Kuniyoshi and Grosz, is “a member of Artist’s Equity,” has had work exhibited on the campuses of a couple of American universities, as well as “in Paris, France and Mexico City,” and that she has done extensive traveling and living abroad. If smart set giddy dilettantism must be ornamented with pretensions to a career, presumably all of this and having exhibitions lends artistic verisimilitude to the affectation. However, perforce, a sine qua non of this little vanity is something

  • Joshua Meador

    Mr. Meador, a Mississippian by birth, and a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, presents principally soft-focused American rural landscapes in oil. These genre paintings are well-enunciated cliches in a familiar idiom that has become such a persistently commercialized, die-hard strain of popular traditionalism in American art that at least its immediate lineage is worth tracing. Simply stated, it is a New England regionalism that evolved spontaneously during the first two decades of the present century. While ultimately a complex of 19th-century European influences, its immediate indebtednesses