Palmer D. French

  • 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

  • San Francisco

    Unfortunately, it was too hot to eat. An unseasonable heatwave hit its peak on the evening of September 20th, when the San Francisco Museum of Art exhibited/consumed an exhibition of Food Sculpture by fifteen Bay Area artists.

    The artists involved were Ruth Asawa, Dennis Beall, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner, Gordon Cook, Bill Geis, Jerry Gootch, Wally Hedrick, Robert Howard, Jo Landor, David MacKenzie, Fred Martin, Ron Nagle and Manuel Neri. The works involved ranged from Joan Brown’s Summer Shoe, 1967, executed in coldcuts and olives, to Ruth Asawa’s poignant portrait of Museum Director

  • San Francisco

    The exhibition “Painters Behind Painters” at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor consisted of works by 66 artists representing the faculties of 15 major college-level art instruction facilities throughout northern and central California, with a natural preponderance of those in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The show encompassed not only the older, locally entrenched (if not native) group of nationally recognized faculty-artists whose influence, spanning a decade or more, on an already established succeeding generation of Bay Area artists is patently demonstrable, but also a fair crop

  • San Francisco

    During September the San Francisco Museum of Art featured a one man show of graphics by Sam Francis together with the final round of its program of rotating multiple solo shows devoted mainly to young Bay Area artists and entitled Arts of San Francisco.

    While the Sam Francis was indeed extensive and comprehensively retrospective of the past 17 years of the artist’s graphic output (120 works in various media: acrylic on paper, egg tempera on paper, watercolor, gouache, drawing) and had been advantageously exploited in the museum’s advance publicity as a signal event, it was accorded curiously

  • San Francisco

    The San Francisco Museum of Art devoted the mid-summer to a feature schedule entitled The Arts of San Francisco which was on the whole to be commended as the most rationally endeavored and thoughtfully organized exhibition program yet undertaken by it in the cause of affording comprehensive and informative exposure to Bay Area art. Throughout the eleven week program the major portion of the Museum’s exhibition space was allotted, in various partitionings, to a succession of simultaneous one-man shows of Bay Area artists, of from three to four weeks duration, and with various galleries changing

  • Karl Benjamin

    Mr. Benjamin exhibits crisp geometric abstractions in oil, exploring a variety of directions. In a series of paintings designated only by the Roman numeral VII, a rectilinear lattice or grid of black lines is superimposed, as it were, on a mosaic of color squares, the intersections of which are noncongruent with those of the lattice. The color tonalities are cool and aseptic. This series is reminiscent sometimes of Mondrian and sometimes of the geometricism of early exponents of Bauhaus theory. An isolated painting simply designated as “7” reduces to its essentials a formula of the early Cubists

  • 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

  • Robert Harvey

    Mr. Harvey's second exhibition at this gallery in less than a year is presumably justified by the fact that he has undergone a radical change of style and viewpoint since his show of last winter, which was preoccupied with figurative themes in a manner obviously influenced by Nathan Oliviera. Mr. Harvey's current exhibition is comprised of a large number of oil paintings, predominantly in sepia tones, collectively entitled “Family Album.” The statement in a gallery circular that these paintings reflect the “realism” of old album photographs is not altogether fair to Mr. Harvey, since these works

  • Jack Carrigg, Masando Kito

    This small gallery on Polk Street, like many of its kind, seldom presents formally organized exhibitions but rather shows a fairly diversified range of works in a perpetual and slowly rotating group show. Outstanding in the more recent repertoire here are oil paintings by Masando Kito, a newcomer, and by Jack Carrigg, a gallery regular whose work has taken a new direction since last season. Mr. Carrigg continues to be fascinated with colored vertical stripes, but instead of the thick wavy lines, modulated surfaces and color transitions that characterized his earlier studies, he has abruptly

  • Kent Addison and Manes Lichtenberg

    Mr. Addison exhibits ostentatious, decorative novelties of incredible vulgarity. Handsome pieces of natural-state chalcedony, amethyst and pyrite are encumbered by trite garish configurations of highly polished brass-plated steel often delineating some “cute” stylistic allusion to the shape of a fish or an animal. These are commercial trivia for the gift shop market, as are also the pretty little tourist pictures of Paris street scenes and French rural landscapes by Manes Lichtenberg.

    Palmer D. French

  • Group Show

    For the opening of another little gallery on Sausalito’s Bridgeway waterfront to be anything but a statistical and a commercial commonplace, it would have to present something a good deal more noteworthy than the mediocre fare that comprises the initial exhibition offered in this somewhat cramped and overly-partitioned room above the locally legendary No Name Bar. Heading the constituency of the present exhibition are three of Sausalito’s old regulars: Serge Trubach, Varda and Art Grant. Trubach, a painter of considerable merit, has elected to be represented here with some hastily contrived

  • Ralph Du Casse

    Mr. Du Casse exhibits nine canvases with titles that are the names of familiar animals. This barely recognizable zoo is transparently an affected attempt to combine esoteric humor with graphic subtlety in contrived flamboyance and oblique references. Mr. Du Casse likes slick textures, balanced syntactical rhythms and flatly applied lush color. The way in which two paintings entitled Raindeer and Baby Deer, decoratively elaborate stylized antler shapes is embarrassingly trite. In fact, all of these paintings remind one of the sort of thing commonly seen on chic ceramic tiles. In addition to the

  • 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.