Palmer D. French

  • “San Francisco Women Artists”

    This is the usual run of bad to mediocre offerings that one has come to expect of “club annuals.” It should be noted, however, that not all of the artists represented are mere “Sunday painters” and that many are cap work than is shown here. Curiously, the painting and graphics sections are comprised mainly of examples of abstract expressionism, hard edged abstraction, “pop art” and very little “Bay Area figurative.” The sculpture is uniformly abysmal. Crafts fare best of all with some rather good examples of hand wrought costume jewelry.

    Palmer D. French

  • Group Show

    This apparent rummage sale of horrid little pictures, advertised as an annual Christmas show, is as crass an example of holiday merchandising as one can find. The less said about the “well known Bay Area artists” ignominiously willing to sell their signatures under a few daubs of paint on a minuscule “gift item” vases, the better.

    Palmer D. French

  • Holland/ “The New Generation”

    This is an impressive exhibition of 55 works by 11 contemporary Dutch artists, assembled by Dr. W. J. H. B. Sandberg at the instigation of the Netherlands Ministry of Education Arts and Sciences, and sponsored on its American tour by the Smithsonian Institution.

    Jaap Wagemaker essays collage paintings of extraordinary sensitivity. Ridged crater-like depressions in pumice-colored granular surfaces, covering an entire panel or emerging, in relief, from a black ground, suggest, in form and texture, telescopic lunarscapes. The eldest of the eleven exhibitors is Gerrit Benner (b. 1897). In purely

  • Mel Henderson, Matt Glavin, Dennis Beal, Joan Brown

    Mr. Henderson exhibits some old leather handbags mounted on weathered panels as wall plaques, and presents some allegedly sculptural essays consisting of worn leather jackets stretched over the tops of crudely carpentered stilt-like armatures in a manner inevitably suggesting the human head and torso. Here is merely an exposition of novel materials neither informed nor transformed by imaginative or intellectual processes. A more truly evocative transformation of the anthropomorphic contours of old clothing may be found in that eerie specter of rural twilight landscape, the farmyard scarecrow.

  • Sylvia Fein, Jean Charlot

    Miss Fein’s medium is egg tempera employed in the manner of the ancients, using only the yolks of fresh eggs, ground pigments and distilled water. The preparation and application of this medium alone involves a painstaking control germane to the meticulous ways of thought and the disciplined, sensitive artisanship which characterize Miss Fein’s work. However, this is artisanship at the service of art, for Miss Fein commands the full range of her medium to evoke in crisp and lacy linearities silhouetted arboreal arabesques or to conjure the subtlest translucencies of atmosphere in ethereal sunsets

  • 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

  • Bill Ris­don

    Mr. Ris­don is young, energetic, versatile and innovative. His present exhibition en­compasses paintings, sculptural assem­blages and a photo-kaleidoscopic de­vice for the production of “mobile ab­stractions.” Mr. Risdon has composed electronic music which is played in the gallery at low volume, so as first to be heard at a subliminal level and only gradually to impinge upon the threshold of consciousness as one surveys the visual exhibits.

    In not all of the directions in which Mr. Risdon ploys his experimental ex­uberance is he equally perceptive and disciplined. It is in his electronic music

  • Frederick O’Hara

    This veteran graphicist’s recent works evince little more than an aca­demic preoccupation with technical pre­cocity in the refined manipulation of complex, experimental printmaking processes. As part of the exhibition one is deluged with brochures elaborately ex­plaining the various multiple-relay transfers, novel emulsions, and chemi­cal washes that have been employed to produce certain effects––effects, it might be observed, that could have been produced as persuasively and more simply in other media. In contrast­ing these exhibits with O’Hara’s evoca­tive color woodcut Garden of Folly (circa

  • Mona Beaumont

    In trifling mixed media “graphics” of which the topical ttieme is the circus, Miss Beaumont attempts some quasi-abstract grotesquerie and caricature as well as a few essays in child-art primitivism, employing mannerisms patently deriva­tive of Picasso in these veins. Distin­guished influence notwithstanding, one finds here neither spiritedly casual so­phistication on the one hand, nor viva­cious naïveté on the other, but merely listless doodlings that smack rather uniformly of a jaded and varicose ennui.

    Palmer D. French

  • Group Show

    Work by six exhibitors is randomly inter­spersed and scattered throughout a labyrinthine maze of dimly lit, over­furnished rooms, dark narrow corridors and cluttered alcoves. A pretentious gallery brochure is prefaced with some silly rhapsodic prose by Mr. Robin Blaser concerning Tom Field’s painting Genji. Rather curiously, some pains were apparently taken to hang this painting, in poor lighting, near the top of a fifteen foot wall—over the kitchen sink! None of the few more visible paintings indicate that any of the art­ists represented rise above the level of a stale and derivative mediocrity

  • William Morehouse

    Mr. Morehouse exhibits titanic landscape fantasies in a romantic spirit that would be amply suited to the rendering of persuasive sets for “Die Gotterdammerung.” There is a good deal of gorgeous painting in these “epic panoramas” with indebtedness to Van Gogh as well as to the fantastic stylism of spectacular horizons in Bosch and in the Gothic primitives. However this is neither imitation, derivation, nor erudite paraphrase, but a process of assimilation and transformation in an artist whose individuality is sufficiently strong and mature that heritage can implement it rather than engulf it.