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

  • John Altoon

    An exhibition of paintings and graphics by John Altoon organized by Gerald Nordland for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was shown there during December and at the Pasadena Art Museum in January. Fifty out of the 66 items which comprised this exhibition were graphics executed during 1966 and 1967, and of this 50, 35 were works in ink and watercolor on board from the Harper Series (Artforum Vol. V, No. 6). A mere scattering of 16 works in various media from Altoon’s prolific output between, and inclusive of, the years 1959 and 1965, was shown in an adjoining gallery, presumably to supply

  • Paul Cotton

    The Berkeley Gallery featured an environment designed by Paul Cotton entitled Drawing Room for the Self. A long, corridorlike segment of the gallery with a wall pattern of whitewashed bricks (real on one side of the room and in part simulated for the occasion with painted wallpaper on the other) was divided along its length into two mirror image vestibules by a partition, perforated with regularly spaced rectangular apertures and used as the axis for a bilaterally symmetrical distribution of simple, uniformly shaped black cushions and austere columnar pedestals. As a consequence, a persistent

  • 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

  • “The Sea” and Tom Ide

    The dealer’s exhibition in the main gallery features a selection of European and American marine paintings. Americans are represented mainly by 19th-century “rock-and-wave” genre pieces including, inevitably, an Edward Moran. Of anecdotal interest to San Franciscans are Charles R. Peters’ charming 1885 view of Fisherman’s Wharf and Telegraph Hill and Coulter’s rendition of the San Francisco regatta of 1875. Outstanding artistically, however, is Bierstadt’s Rainbow. This unique study of the rainbow effect to be seen in the mist generated by a waterfall is a little off the sea theme of the

  • George Luks (1867–1933)

    Many years as newspaper illustrator, cartoonist, and “artist-correspondent” in the courtrooms, at the race track, and on the battlefield, developed in George B. Luks a predisposition for the quick, documentary panorama, the bold, thumbnail caricatures, and the blunt, linear implication of action. None of the drawings here shown are creations of painstaking draftsmanship, nor are they graphic compositions in esthetic terms; few of them are even the final, reworked sketches or cartoons as they would ultimately have been reproduced for publication. Rather are they “on the spot” memoranda and, as

  • Marie Anne Poniatowska

    The drawings comprising this exhibition have been selected from a number of series. Each series was obviously a set of pieces devoted to a single theme such as “Roots,” “Stones” or “Carcasses.” This exposition of academic draftsmanship in methodically elaborated studies suggests a rather self-conscious and myopic pedantry which is, in fact, reiterated in every drawing, where the specimen under scrutiny is isolated, centered upon the paper, and executed with meticulous attention to detail. Here is a style which is indistinguishable from the format for illustration of mollusks, fossils, and the

  • 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.


  • “Chinese Paintings”

    In surveying the ancient art works of a remote culture it is sometimes difficult for the uninitiated to “see the trees for the forest.” Individual differences of style and departures from traditional norms are easily obscured by that long historical perspective which tends to emphasize the stylistic and esthetic assumptions which all the artists of a given culture held in common and to minimize differences which, albeit within the common frame of reference, must in their time have seemed radical. The contrasts here might have been brought into sharper focus for us had this selection from the R.

  • Koshiro Onchi

    Appreciation and evaluation of the Japanese graphicists of the first half of the 20th century has been to date the exclusive province of a few collectors who first brought these artists to the attention of American museums. The bibliography of this period of Japanese printmaking is dominated by the names of Oliver Statler and James A. Michener. The Achenbach Foundation in its promotion of this exhibition seems unhesitatingly to have swallowed Michener’s evaluation of Onchi as “the genius of this period of printmaking,” and thus are perpetuated the articles of faith that come to constitute the

  • 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

  • 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