Palmer D. French

  • “The Square Drawing”

    While the San Francisco Art Institute would appear all too willing to accelerate confusion in the nomenclature of Art by its elastic definition of the word “drawing,” the simple and specific limitations it imposed upon works to be submitted for this juried exhibition stimulated some of the most crisply economical and highly individual statements in black, white and grey that one has seen locally for some time. Jacques Fabert’s Finlandaise (oil) is a singularly powerful figure study, heroic in its mannerism but without bravura affectation or Expressionist cliche. Sonya Rapoport’s abstract Dream

  • Shirley Goldfarb

    Miss Goldfarb exhibits thirty-six abstract oil-on-paper studies in traditional pointillism collectively leaving an after-impression of that strawberry-milk-mist atmosphere so reminiscent of Renoir. Individually, however, many of these miniatures present a sapphire microcosm of scintillating color rhythms and translucencies, for Miss Goldfarb’s perseverance in pursuing a narrow and exacting method has been rewarded with a command of its fullest range of possibilities; and it is with surprising rarity that she falls into the obviously courted hazard of producing a mere color fabric.

    ––Palmer D.

  • Max Beerbohm (1872–1956) and Edward Kitson

    The Beerbohm is the sort of exhibition that is more pertinent in a library corridor than in a museum gallery. As a graphic satirist Mr. Beerbohm was certainly no Daumier, no Dore, but an amateur in those traditions of slapstick grotesquery and crude, formula draftsmanship which originated with Rowlandson and which, as crystallized in Punch,  became popularly identified as the English national style of journalistic cartooning. The wit and audacity in such an idiom is not intrinsically graphic, but must, perforce, rely heavily on literary and topical context or upon the celebrity of personages

  • Group Show

    This is an intimate presentation of one or two paintings each by members of the gallery’s small regular stable, a few of whom have had one-man shows during the past season. Since last year’s group show, most of these artists have begun to explore new directions or have discovered expanded possibilities in their established methods. Gordon Onslow-Ford has introduced a sparing use of color into a still predominantly black and white palette. He has abandoned those crustily busy systematic constructions of ringlets, spirals and splintery lines, for a refreshingly fluid mobility of shapes and rhythms

  • “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

  • Group Show

    This new and spacious though low-ceilinged gallery on McAllister Street near the Civic Center opens with a diversified group show comprised of work in various media by ten artists. Bella Feldman and Henri Marie-Rose exhibit metal sculpture. Mrs. Feldman essays chunky pieces interesting for their modalities of shape, texture and surface corrugation, while Mr. Marie-Rose expounds decoratively lyrical compositions in sheet metal with schematized references to the figure. Bob Arneson provides the shocker of the show with some Surrealistic horseplay in the form of two grotesquely fashioned and painted

  • Wesley Chamberlain, Richard Graf and Robert Bechtle

    Mr. Chamberlain’s representational lithographs, such as Still Life for a Catholic Vintner and Sunday’s Ladies, comprise a tour de force of the draftsmanship and technical virtuosity employed with more range and imagination in his intaglio collages and tusche drawings. In Tuttle Flowers and in the Morning Objects series one finds sensitive explorations of “tonal” and morphodynamic space.

    Mr. Graf, turning to the rich heritage of North European Expressionism, essays lithographs and drawings evoking erotic fantasies and eerie, dreamlike architectural interiors, and demonstrating a consummate grasp

  • Williamson Mayo and Francis de Erdely

    In Mr. Mayo’s oil paintings a torrid and colorful treatment of Tahitian landscape and people veers from a Folk-Primitivism (that is more West Indian than Polynesian) in such statements as Three Tahitian Churches to a Fauvist handling of landscape rhythms and colors in “Glade Near Papete,” and then careens into a Gauguinesque exposition of figurative themes. To all of these assimilations, however, Mr. Mayo adds an individual transformation derived, according to the gallery statement, from his virtuosity and experience as “one of the best living poster artists.”

    Co-featured is a small selection of

  • “New Art and Design of Sweden”

    A large part of this exhibition takes on the character of a decorators’ show, participated in by various importers, and promotive of Swedish housewares, furniture, office equipment and items of industrial design—all of superb quality and attractively elegant.

    On the less utilitarian side, a hollow, quadrilateral glass shaft corrugated with polyhedroid configurations, designed by Sven Palmquist, achieves a scintillating prismatic beauty, and an abstract tapestry by Alice Lund exploits textures and luminosities of color uniquely within the domain of fabric surfaces and textile dyes.

    The Fine Arts

  • “Decorative Art of the Young Balinese”

    These are charming paintings of Balinese village life sensitively executed in the busy opulence of color and foliate rhythms that characterize the decorative and illustrative arts of Southeast Asia. Within the conventions of a traditional style, each of these young artists nevertheless achieves an individual expression. There are marked personal preferences in both choice of subject matter and tonality of palette. The exhibition is small but rewards perusal.

    Palmer D. French