Palmer D. French

  • Arlo Acton

    Early last fall the Hansen Gallery presented a retrospective exhibition of work by the San Francisco sculptor Arlo Acton. That show contained no immediately recent work and was, in bulk, comprised of those large, somewhat neo-Dadaist, found-object assemblage-constructions (predominantly of wood) which occupied Acton during the early sixties (see Artforum, Vol. III, No. 1), most of which have received sufficiently frequent local exposure over the past few years to have become quite familiar to the majority of Bay Area gallery-goers and museum habitués.

    Recently, the Hansen Gallery staged the second

  • Charles Mattox

    Kinetic showmanship with some buffoonery also held sway at the Quay Gallery, which featured a veritable carnival of bright colored, noisy devices contrived by Charles Mattox. In contrast, however, to Acton’s vaudeville slapstick and burlesque double entendres, the Mattox exhibits were all good clean fun for the kiddies, and the show as a whole exuded the seasonally appropriate atmosphere of a novelty toy shop before Christmas: here was Mattox’s kinetic wizardry in its most jovial and Harlequinesque aspects, together with a few elaborate gadgets resembling the more imaginative sort of stage props

  • Barbara Barengo

    Another young artist’s debut show was featured by the Michael Walls Gallery in presenting paintings by Barbara Barengo, whose lyrical abstractions in subdued, opaque colors, expounding highly involved, composed relationships of well defined shapes, color masses and linear rhythms, represent not only a rejection of Abstract Expressionism but likewise a turning away from the rigid and quasi technological schematism associated with Op and Hard Edge techniques, toward a re examination of some of the approaches to the esthetics and dynamics of abstraction that prevailed a half century ago.

    In such

  • Frederic Hobbs

    At the Bolles Gallery, Frederic Hobbs exhibited drawings, mixed media graphics, and paintings on paper, together with a small selection of molded fiberglass sculptures. Hobbs is a good draftsman; his ink drawings and sepia-toned acrylic/ink gouaches are powerful and articulate. Their larger than life, expressionistic bravura repertoire, religious, mythological and Bacchanalian imagery, in juxtapositions at once poignant and sardonic, present a compelling revival of the spirit, themes and style of Heinrich Kley. Here, too, but slightly metamorphosized, is Kley’s cloven-hoofed and taloned Witches’

  • Plastics West Coast

    ONE OF THE MORE SPECTACULAR and informative group exhibitions of the current San Francisco season was a show entitled Plastics West Coast, organized at the Hansen Gallery. Intended as a general introduction to a series of one-man shows projected by the gallery, the ambitious exhibition surveys West Coast artists working with various of the synthetic materials derived from polymer chemistry and popularly classified as plastics. The range of processes encompassed is impressive.

    Recently there has emerged a considerable group of artists who have become “plastics craftsmen” in a fundamental sense,

  • San Francisco

    A comprehensive exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Gaston Lachaise (1882–1935), which is scheduled to tour some fifteen small museums and college campus galleries over the next two and a half years under the management of the Felix Landau Gallery of Los Angeles and the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery of New York as agents for “The Lachaise Foundation,” began its tour at the San Francisco Museum of Art last October.

    In 1906 at the age of 24, Lachaise, a native of France, came to America where he spent the remainder of his life, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1917. The era between his arrival here and

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • Medieval Manuscripts at Berkeley

    WHILE THE IMPORT OF THE EXHIBITION of medieval manuscripts and books from the renowned collection of the late William S. Glazier recently shown at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, can perhaps only be fully appreciated and properly evaluated by a small and select group of antiquarian bibliophiles and scholars of medieval culture, this exhibition had however not only the broadest possible general appeal to all interested in literature and the humanities, but, in focusing the interest of a diversity of specialists—the historian, the artist, the iconologist and the paleographer—seemed

  • 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