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,

  • San Francisco Artists

    Clayton Pinkerton, exhibiting recent paintings in acrylic on masonite at the Arleigh Gallery, pursues the same themes of political and social comment which provided the content of his exhibits in the San Francisco Museum’s “Arts of San Francisco” survey of two years ago, with some modifications of style and approach. The slapdash cartoon style of his earlier phase has been supplanted with a variety of more restrained and painterly methods, while blatancy of statement has been superseded by irony—sometimes in the form of the anecdotal picture with delayed-action visual-charade “punch line” not

  • 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

  • San Francisco

    The Vorpal Galleries provided an interesting selection of entertaining mobile assemblages and ingenious junk-sculptural machines by Robert Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert’s largest and most elaborate pieces are in a comical vein, in which his basic procedure is to construct a large supportive frame or armature from such choice junkyard finds as oddly shaped sections of antique cast iron grillwork. From these he suspends elaborate Rube Goldberg networks of moving parts, in which ludicrously extensive relays of cogwheels, rotor-belts, elbow pivots and the like terminate in some such trivial function as the

  • Richard Fiscus, Robert Maki, Connor Everts, Matt Glavin and Donald Campbell

    The GALLERY REESE PALLEY afforded San Francisco one of the most genuinely enjoyable gallery shows of the summer season in exhibiting a large selection of recent paintings by RICHARD FISCUS. In these paintings, which elaborate landscape themes in linearly defined, two-dimensionally schematized form-simplifications, relatively dense, overall meshes of linear patterning, emphatically stated in heavy, flat ribbons of black paint, engendered a mosaic of fragmentary interstitial shapes, each of which is “filled in” with a single, uniformly applied color. The compositions make oblique reference to the

  • Norman Stiegelmeyer

    The numerous large canvases by Norman Stiegelmeyer recently exhibited at the San Francisco Art Institute, while unquestionably impressive by reason of the ambitious muralesque scale of their refined elaboration of extravagantly colorful and ornate fantasmagoric designs, failed lamentably to fulfill the promise of the simple, powerful drawing which the artist executed for the exhibition’s announcement poster, and in general, disappointed expectations engendered by his small-format graphic work seen in previous years at the Institute’s annual drawing shows. This earlier graphic work by Stiegelmeyer

  • Susan Hall

    Susan Hall, in a commanding exhibition at the Quay Gallery, is also occupied, albeit in a manner differing considerably from that of Mr. Stiegelmeyer, with an essentially graphic approach to painting. Bold caricatures, cartoons and contour drawings in thin lines of color often stated against fields of a single contrasting color distinguish her present style, in which, while drawing from the currently fashionable, youthfully obstreperous vernacular of combining Pop hyperbole on mass-media advertising and comic-strip art with some of the spirited impudence and rowdy obscenities of Funk, she yet

  • Ben Langton

    Ben Langton, in a group of paintings recently shown at the Bolles Gallery, essays a return to the exuberant, heavily impastoed, vividly pigmented landscape styles of late 19th-century European artistic ferment, as seen through that long historical perspective conducive to amalgamating stylistic devices and mannerisms from Van Gogh, Gauguin,Munch and Nolde—and from the Fauves, Der Blaue Reiter and a host of independents peripheral to these movements—much as they have now become embraced by the same melding perspective under the general heading of Expressionism.

    However, Mr. Langton’s telescopy is

  • William Wiley, Bill Geis, Bob Arneson, Manuel Neri, Robert Kinmont, Peter Saul, Bruce Nauman, H. C. Westermann and Martial Westburg

    The Berkeley Gallery initiated its new quarters—a spacious two-story, light-manufacturing-shed type of structure, located in the warehouse district south of Market Street, and reminiscent of the gallery’s original home on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley—with a large, Neo-Dada-caper sort of exhibition called the “Repair Show,” announced as a sequel to this gallery’s purportedly “historic” Slant Step show of three years ago, and largely comprised of patently impermanent, random assemblages of assorted objects and debris-like materials, casual junk sculptural constructions and the like. While some