Palmer D. French

  • Jules Pascin

    PASCIN’S CAREER WAS METEORIC. In the decade prior to his death by suicide in 1930 he enjoyed not only great prestige and financial success as an artist, but considerable popular celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic as an outstanding figure in the somewhat luridly glamorized, Paris-centered cosmopolitan art community of the frenetic years immediately following the first World War. All of the galleries in Paris paid homage to him by closing for the day of his funeral. This distinction—to have become already a legend in his lifetime and to have occupied the limelight even briefly in a milieu

  • The Age of Rembrandt

    WHILE TITLING THIS EXHIBITION The Age of Rembrandt indubitably insured it enormous popular prestige and record-breaking public attendance at the three museums participating in its tour, the title is in many ways inappropriate and misleading. In the first place, any implication, no matter how oblique, that Rembrandt––at least in the individualism of the mature style with which he is most usually identified––is typical of his era, or that on the other hand, a preponderant majority of his contemporaries were so overwhelmingly dominated by the example of that characteristic style as to typify his

  • Ancient Egyptian Art at the Lowie Museum

    DURING THE HUNDRED YEARS between the acquisitions gathered by Napoleon’s expeditions in 1799 (and ceded to the British after the French defeat at Alexandria in 1801) and the University of California’s excavations at Gizeh in 1899, Egyptian archaeology had been almost exclusively a European pursuit, and except for the Cairo Museum after 1858, the principal, or at any rate ultimate, beneficiaries of both private and institutionally sponsored excavation had been the great national museums of Europe, with the British Museum, the Louvre and the Berlin Museum definitely in the lead.

    It is to Auguste

  • 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

  • Jack Levi, Robert Combs, Bruce Conner, Gerald Gooch, Richard Graf, Norman Stiegelmeyer, Joan Brown and Susan Hall

    The San Francisco Art Institute’s Annual Invitational Drawing Show was, as usual, interesting and stimulating. Keen intelligence in exploring the resources of various graphic media was a hallmark of most of the work exhibited. By tradition the designation “drawing show” adheres to this event, although its scope has been broadening over the years to encompass an ever greater range of graphic media, including painting on paper, collage involving the use of paper and/or textile materials on almost any ground, and, of course, most recently, various uses of polymer materials (other than as paints).

  • Vienna School of Fantastic Realism

    An exhibition entitled Vienna School of Fantastic Realism at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art purported to survey “significant impulses” from Austria, and was comprised of work by 15 painters. The ostentatious and trite promotional rhetoric in Alfred Werner’s preface to the shabby little catalog being circulated with the exhibition was futile advocacy in view of the blatant mediocrity and intellectual bankruptcy evident in the majority of the works shown. Ernst Fuchs stands alone in the sad company of his co exhibitors as representing at least a respectable degree of artistic integrity

  • Marvin Lipofsky and Keith Boyle

    The Hansen Gallery recently featured free forms in blown glass by Marvin Lipofsky, a pioneer in the contemporary revival of free blown glass as an art idiom, and who was chiefly responsible for the organizing and equipping of a glassblowing studio foundry at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.

    Professor Lipofsky’s exhibits seem chiefly interesting for the truly impressive diversity of unique colors and textures achieved by combining glass with various metals and other pigmentive materials. In form the pieces are all basically bulbous or tubular. Esthetically the most intriguing

  • Mariano Fortuny, Gauguin, Bonnard, Aubrey Beardsley, Karl Koepping, Ludwig Hofmann, Paul Hermann, Jules Cheret, Alphons Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, and more

    Two well-paired exhibitions, an extensive feature show entitled The Art Nouveau and a concurrent secondary installation captioned A Remembrance of Mariano Fortuny, initiating the spring season at the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, together highlighted the recent wave of interest in the design styles which dominated art, artisanship, decorative crafts and fashions at the turn of the century. Broadly considered, the style trend expressed in, and inclusive of, the manifestations popularly designated by the term Art Nouveau, was, like the Rococo, the Baroque, and others of the long

  • Elizabeth L. M. Campbell

    Mrs. Campbell explores the rectilinear color-grid idea not, however, in terms of the contemporary Hard Edge approach, with its emphasis on monotonous and optically hypnotic regularity, but well within the style and characteristic inflections of Mondrian, Glarner and the early Bauhaus. Even at this, her craftsmanship is hasty and amateurish and she brings absolutely nothing new to a method long since carried to its ultimate and most effective realization by others.

    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

  • “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

  • San Francisco

    Art as environment and event seemed to be the subject of a triple billing at the Hansen Gallery during September when an exhibition of painted fiberglass wall-hangings by Tom Holland formed part of the audience surroundings for three enactments of a multi-media program entitled Over Evident Falls, collaboratively organized, produced and performed by electronic composer Steve Reich and artist William T. Wiley, with the assistance of Cynthia Ripley, Patrick Gleason and Jim Scoggin.

    Holland’s pieces are textured in a manner which makes them seem somewhat primitively assembled from strips and jaggedly

  • “Synchronism and Related American Color Painting”

    The summer season at the San Francisco Museum of Art was, for the most part, given over to a slow procession of limited-itinerary touring exhibitions originating elsewhere. An exhibition entitled “Synchronism and Related American Color Painting,” currently circulated by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and seen here as a corridor show during June and July, was an historical footnote, as it were, isolating for scrutiny a minuscule and fleeting ripple in the main wave of Cubist influence on early 20th-century American painting.

    William C. Agee’s informative and well-illustrated catalog for a

  • “The Drawings of Hyman Bloom”

    “The Drawings of Hyman Bloom,” organized and circulated by the University of Connecticut Museum of Art brought to the San Francisco Bay Area a varied and extensive introductory survey of distinguished graphic work by an artist whose reputation in the eastern United States—particularly along the Boston-New York-Philadelphia axis—is already solidly established, and for whom over the past decade drawing has tended to emerge as the predominant vehicle of a distinctive style.

    Although born in 1913, a subject of the late Czar Nicholas II in what is now (Soviet) Lithuania, Hyman Bloom was only seven

  • Patrick Tidd and Harry Lum

    The Berkeley Gallery introduced new trends in the work of two Bay Area artists in its successive presentation of exhibitions of paintings by Patrick Tidd and by Harry Lum. Tidd, whose work of five years ago presented the viewer with an interesting ferment of ambivalent experimental groping which could have developed in any of a number of quite divergent directions, seems now firmly and rewardingly set on a course which has already produced an ample aggregate of thoroughly engaging canvases, falling into two groups: (1) hard-edge, “abstract charades” of strangely juxtaposed imagery and visual

  • Art Holman

    Mr. Holman works principally in an idiom that is best described as Abstract Im­pressionism. Like the original Impres­sionists, he is much concerned, in a very technical sense, with optics and the optical properties of his media: colors are “fragmented,” modulated and juxtaposed, and glazes are employed, as are other devices of texturing, with reference to optical dynamics, and with the knowledgeability of a physicist care­fully exploring properties of pigmented chemicals. The work may, therefore, be described as technically “objective” and “experimental,” while the overall es­thetic result sought

  • Arthur G. Dove

    The work of Arthur G. Dove (1880–1946) covers a wide range of highly imaginative ex­periments in various idioms and modes of syntax, as well as a considerable range of qualitative variability. This ex­hibition is a disappointment in that it is comprised mainly of examples of this great artist’s less consequential, and physically quite miniature, diversions­—chips from the workshop, as it were, rather than the more committed and seriously undertaken creations.

    The gallery statement dwells with considerable insistence upon Mr. Dove’s historical importance. The emphasis on this point constitutes

  • Serge Trubach, Jack Carrigg

    Trubach’s idiom, though generally, non-objective, defies easy categorization and eludes labels. He has developed, to a superlative degree, the potentialities of extremely minute and sensitive modulations of surface in conjunction with very subdued and yet scintillating inflections of color, which in turn generate his unique style of kaleidoscopic “spatial mobility” and “rhythmic organization.”

    In this showing he is exhibited at his highest powers in the following state­ments: “Oval” and “Winter Sun,” each a flexibly explorative, yet harmonious unity of thought and material, executed on wood panel;

  • Robert Watson and Giancarlo Erizzo

    Nothing is inherent­ly wrong with producing a series of variations on a theme: one need only mention Degas’ ballet dancers, Monet’s variations on the Rouen facade, or the inventive and exciting explorations of limited palette and restricted geometry so challenging to those facile in ab­stract idioms. Mr. Watson’s pretentious inanities, however, can hardly be termed “variations.” Two themes prevail in this showing: both are in the same “key,” and each is subjected to insignificantly variant repetitions-always in the same tonality, and in a tedious drone of spirit­less and pedestrian syntactical