Palmer D. French

  • Group Show

    This new and spacious though low-ceilinged gallery on McAllister Street near the Civic Center opens with a diversified group show comprised of work in various media by ten artists. Bella Feldman and Henri Marie-Rose exhibit metal sculpture. Mrs. Feldman essays chunky pieces interesting for their modalities of shape, texture and surface corrugation, while Mr. Marie-Rose expounds decoratively lyrical compositions in sheet metal with schematized references to the figure. Bob Arneson provides the shocker of the show with some Surrealistic horseplay in the form of two grotesquely fashioned and painted

  • Wesley Chamberlain, Richard Graf and Robert Bechtle

    Mr. Chamberlain’s representational lithographs, such as Still Life for a Catholic Vintner and Sunday’s Ladies, comprise a tour de force of the draftsmanship and technical virtuosity employed with more range and imagination in his intaglio collages and tusche drawings. In Tuttle Flowers and in the Morning Objects series one finds sensitive explorations of “tonal” and morphodynamic space.

    Mr. Graf, turning to the rich heritage of North European Expressionism, essays lithographs and drawings evoking erotic fantasies and eerie, dreamlike architectural interiors, and demonstrating a consummate grasp

  • Williamson Mayo and Francis de Erdely

    In Mr. Mayo’s oil paintings a torrid and colorful treatment of Tahitian landscape and people veers from a Folk-Primitivism (that is more West Indian than Polynesian) in such statements as Three Tahitian Churches to a Fauvist handling of landscape rhythms and colors in “Glade Near Papete,” and then careens into a Gauguinesque exposition of figurative themes. To all of these assimilations, however, Mr. Mayo adds an individual transformation derived, according to the gallery statement, from his virtuosity and experience as “one of the best living poster artists.”

    Co-featured is a small selection of

  • “New Art and Design of Sweden”

    A large part of this exhibition takes on the character of a decorators’ show, participated in by various importers, and promotive of Swedish housewares, furniture, office equipment and items of industrial design—all of superb quality and attractively elegant.

    On the less utilitarian side, a hollow, quadrilateral glass shaft corrugated with polyhedroid configurations, designed by Sven Palmquist, achieves a scintillating prismatic beauty, and an abstract tapestry by Alice Lund exploits textures and luminosities of color uniquely within the domain of fabric surfaces and textile dyes.

    The Fine Arts

  • John Mancini

    This is an all too extensive exhibition of oil paintings expounding schematically treated cityscapes and “checkerboard” agrarian landscapes. Some Italian Piazzas and roof-top scenes seem to be studies after de Chirico. The monotony and banality of it all soon permit attention to wander to the cradles of prints where one discovers the most truly inviting treasure-trove of graphics in San Francisco. Here are not only the great and familiar names among contemporary graphicists, but intriguing examples of work by a younger generation of as yet little-known Europeans.

    Palmer D. French

  • Melvin Hanson

    This small gallery has devoted three successive exhibitions to a memorial retrospective of works by the late Melvin Hanson. It is clear that the automobile collision which claimed Mr. Hanson’s life in 1962, at the age of 24, deprived the Bay Area of a promising artist in his formative years. The quotations from his writings in the gallery brochure as well as the exhibited work, reveal not only a youthful exuberance but a mystical viewpoint, reminiscent of William Blake’s, encompassing in its contemplations the demonic, the Dionysian, and the naively beatific. Currently exhibited is a series of

  • Dame Cosmy

    Dame Cosmy was born in Greece and died, an octogenarian, in San Francisco. She began painting late in life and adopted a “folk primitive” style, curiously resembling that of Grandma Moses and devoid of any traces of Byzantine heritage or of the contemporary folk art of Greece. The subject matter of most of her exhibits is retrospections of her childhood on the Greek Island of Poros and of her European travels. As the genre goes, her work is colorful and “charming,” but lacks the enduring appeal of humor and crispness that Grandma Moses assimilated from the rural folk art of New England.


  • Fred Dekker, Ed Handelman, and Barbara Spring

    There seems to be no significance, either in terms of contrast or of parallelism in the juxtaposition of work by these three artists. Mr. Dekker presents numerous ink drawings in which vaguely suggested clusters of featureless figures emerge from areas of ink wash alternated with uniformly dense meshes of thick lines and whorls busily spreading to the margins of the paper. There is nothing in these drawings to indicate that Mr. Dekker possesses the slightest sensitivity to his medium; all of the problems, as well as the vast range of resources of drawing are neglected. Mr. Handelman’s collage

  • Brian Peacock and David Tindle

    Mr. Peacock presents figurative themes, primarily on ecclesiastical motifs, stylistically manipulated in a “flat,” but by no means hard-edged manner, usually dividing his canvas into unequal rectangular areas of muddy color. Mr. Tindle presents a wider variety of subject matter, including some banal portraiture employing thin washes of neutral, transparent color to a linen surface. Both of these painters seem preoccupied with a flaccid and prosaic rectilinear syntax, dish-water tonal values of grey and green, and clammy surface-textures producing a singularly brackish drabness.

    Palmer D. French

  • Gallery Group

    This small North Beach gallery has recently added some impressive talent to its stable. Outstanding among the newer young painters is Miss Tomur Atagok, whose large abstract oil on canvas, Reaching No. 3, displays a capacity to conjure intriguing, bold, simple forms, dynamic contrasts, and extremely subtle modalities of texture and surface. Noteworthy among the recently acquired graphics exhibitors is Steve Elvin who evolves fantastic microcosms in labyrinthine whorls of tenuous linearities. Among the older regulars, Muldoon Elder, always a sensitive draftsman, is exploring new directions in

  • Viola Hildebrand and Harold L. Downer

    Miss Hildebrand exhibits abstractions in oil bearing such titles as The Place No One Knew Water, Duel in the Sun Water, and various other Waters, in which the obvious attempt is to evoke the rhythms and colors characteristic of lakes, pools, reflecting foliage, and other natural water surfaces. As the titles imply, one is here confronted with a rather cloyingly Romantic Abstract Impressionism, indifferent in both conception and execution. Mr. Downer’s abstractions are monotonously repetitive, suggestive of commercial designs for textured linoleum.

    Palmer D. French

  • Demetrios Lyras

    Mr. Lyras’ paintings in oil essay a flat, hard-edged primitivism made lyrical and moodful by refined nuances of linear syntax and dark luminous colors. Mr. Lyras is most successful in setting austere Byzantine figures against dark antique interiors or moonlit nocturnal landscapes. His work in the latter vein is reminiscent of Rousseau.

    Palmer D. French