Palmer D. French

  • Iranian Art

    CURRENTLY TOURING THE U.S. is an impressive exhibition entitled “7000 Years of Iranian Art.”* This exhibition, circulated by the Smithsonian Institution through the cooperation of the governments of Iran and of the United States, consists mainly of objects loaned from the Teheran Archaeological Museum and the Collection Foroughi. The exhibition’s range of subject matter is highly diverse and comprises not only works of art, craft, and decorative artisanship representing the many cultural transitions experienced historically by the Iranian people, but also artifacts of peoples of other nations

  • 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,

  • Masando Kito

    Pursuing hard-edge colorism to more rewarding depth and effect is Masando Kito at the Triangle Gallery, newly relocated off Union Square on Post Street. Kito essays untitled abstractions exploring the interactions of areas of bright primary colors with sparsely placed accents of black and white. Color masses are planned to work dynamically in terms of space illusion; shapes are imaginative but uncomplicated. The currently exhibited works represent for Kito the culmination of two years of exploring this idiom and present a startling advance over the works he exhibited last year after having but

  • 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

  • Arne Wolfe

    In a small selection of woodcuts which Mr. Wolfe exhibited in a corridor group show at the San Francisco Museum of Art last year he was preoccupied primarily with statements in black and white and with ornate calligraphy. While a few of the earlier calligraphic works are included in his present exhibition, the preponderance of wall space is given over to his newer works which are woodcuts on a very large scale teeming with vibrant color. These are all abstractions in which form and color are manipulated in a very free improvisatory way. While the work is not disdainful of such traditional devices

  • Julius Wasserstein, Arne Wolf, Ivars Hirss

    This small exhibit is a corridor filler. Mr. Wasserstein’s series of “Litho Episodes” entitled Trees are repetitive expositions of forest themes rendered in the woodcut manner of early 20th-century German Expressionism.

    Mr. Wolf presents some decoratively clever exercises in both scriptographic and purely abstract calligraphy.

    Mr. Hirss exhibits serigraphs that have the appearance of monotype color studies juxtaposing and superimposing simply stated and vaguely rectangular areas of color.

    Palmer D. French

  • 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

  • Byron Burford

    Professor Burford’s recent oil paintings (of which the topical theme, quite incidentally, is ‘War’) presents a collection of placid, blandly refined essays on style, comprising the meditations of a seasoned academician upon certain idioms in American art from the WPA era to the late 1940’s. In such statements as “Women Making Munitions” (1963) the painting of details alludes unmistakably to Edward Hopper. But it is with syntax rather than with painting that Burford is primarily concerned. He is intrigued by that amalgamation of the figurative themes of “social comment” with the architectonics

  • 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