Palmer D. French

  • Fletcher Benton and John Ihle

    Mr. Benton’s “Kinetic Paintings” are sophisticated mobile geometric montages in the crisply economical symmetries and black, white, and primary color palette of the Hard Edge school. In a modern spirit Mr. Benton has turned to the mechanical principles underlying the famous automata of the great 17th and 18th cen­tury horologists, executing colorful compositions on a metal plaque or “face” equipped with various sliding bars, squares and panels, the synchronized movements of which are predetermined by an essentially “clockwork” type of mechanism encased behind the plaque. Technologically the only

  • Charles Safford

    This is a memorial exhibition of selected paintings by Charles Saf­ford, veteran Bay Area painter who died at the age of 63 last year. Mr. Safford was a gifted and eloquent Abstract Expressionist whose work shows little affinity either with New York or West Coast trends of his time. While at first admittedly influenced by Hans Hofmann, Safford soon evolved a style that was lyrical and Romantic in its opulence of rich, sensuous color and its tangential evocation of the exhila­rating spaciousness of forest and mountain landscape. His work of the “Swan Valley” period became almost a metamorphosis

  • Sam Francis

    Effer­vescence and spontaneous ebullience comprise the dominant mood of Sam Francis’ recent abstract color litho­graphs. A profusion of quasi-child-art free-forms in bright primary colors­—vaguely comic shapes that seem to float like carnival balloons—as well as fibrous drip-and-blot configurations lend a buoyant and airy casualness to these compositions which must, in fact, have involved considerable forethought and technical predetermination to execute in color lithography.

    Palmer D. French

  • Sonya Rapoport

    In her current exhibition entitled “Con­trasts” Mrs. Rapoport essays construc­tions in which painting, graphic and plastic media are combined with col­lage and montage methods. In spite of this diversity of techniques there is a considerable paucity of imagination and very little freedom of inventiveness to these works. Full of sophisticated cliches, calculated casualness, and the now ubiquitous jargon from the vernac­ular of the revolt against “taste,” “craft” and decorative paint-handling, these are nonetheless labored cha­rades, prim and ponderously clever in their carefully plotted “prosody

  • James Grant and James Melchert

    The syncopated plastic rhythms, sharp spatial transitions, and “dissonantly” juxtaposed shapes and color contrasts that so strongly characterized Mr. Grant’s collage-paintings, exhibited a year ago at the De Young Museum, are nowhere to be found in his current show. He has, to be sure, retained a few stylistic mannerisms from his earlier work, but the vitality has considerably waned. Most of the recent work here shown essays related colors in like tonal values; color masses and linear configurations are distributed in such a way that each work is a study in composed static equilibrium and tonal

  • “Directions I & II”

    The title of this serial group show seems inordinately pretentious in view of the fact that many of the works shown have been spasmodically shuttling between the walls and the bins of this gallery for a year or more. None of the work exhibited presents any new trend in the methods of the exhibiting artists, all of whom are well-established members of Gumps’ regular stable. “Directions I” re-exposed some recently seen landscapes by Walter Snelgrove and some familiar Howard Hack paintings from the “Window” series. Possibly new was a wall-plaque by Faralla in his familiar method of assembling

  • Fletcher Benton

    Mr. Benton exhibits portraits of some of his colleagues in the community of Bay Area artists, including James Monte, William Morehouse, Walter Snelgrove, Bryan Wilson, and others. These life-size full-figure portrayals in oil are executed in a broad, casual manner. Usually the object of this type of informal portraiture is to suppress detail and to select and dramatize essential individual characteristics. In the group here, however, an overall monotony of subdued palette and tense, somber facial and postural expressions gives the impression that many of the artists who sat for these portrayals

  • Joan Savo

    Miss Savo continues her variations on the isolated figure dissolving into a beachscape. The dominant mood is one of lyrical ethereality and retrospection, sensitively established by muted tonalities of sandy greys, yellows and greens, and the pale blues that shoreline background suggests. One feels however that two or three of these paintings exhaust Miss Savo's theme.

    Palmer D. French

  • “Flag Show”

    For the most part this exhibition consists of flippant Pop Art leg-pulls and tongue-in-cheek blasphemies designed to draw fire from John Birchers and the like. Many of these spoofs revert to the theme of Henry Miller’s book The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, combining American flag motifs with objects suggesting the more pedestrian aspects of mass culture and mass-media commercialism. Outstanding in this genre is Art Grant’s optically gimmicky television screen with undulating striations and asterisk stars that rotate against one another in cog-wheel fashion. There are obvious political overtones

  • Stanley M. Long and Ray Strong

    Mr. Long’s watercolors of Western scenes with equestrian cowboys are of a genre frequently seen on children’s jig-saw puzzles and photo stills from Grade B Westerns. If Mr. Long had had the humor to emphasize the similarities by some device of parody (such as overlaying the pictures with a jig-saw network of lines or introducing photo-negative effects) these could have made some hilarious Pop Art. But alas, the work is absolutely dead-pan and, perforce, the chuckle is at, not with, the earnestness of these commercially stereotyped grass-roots homilies. Mr. Strong’s landscapes in oil are just

  • Milton Hebald

    A small rectangular area of roof space adjoining a penthouse office suite has been converted into an open-air gallery by the tenant of the suite. The current exhibition is the first of a series of projected exhibitions of sculpture by artists affiliated with the Nordness Gallery in New York. Mr. Hebald’s jaunty paraphrasing of Classical and Baroque sculptural themes in cast bronze are amusing but hardly distinctive: they are solidly within a very familiar vernacular of the commercial conventions of decorative, “conversation piece” garden sculpture.

    Palmer D. French

  • “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.