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

  • “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

  • Jacques Fabert

    This exhibition gives the impression of an off-season schedule filler. Mr. Fabert essays a slick and clichéd expressionism featuring studies of statuesque, muscular female nudes in which the figure surfaces together with elements of background are schematized in a purely decorative quasi-cubism. While Crosses on a Field, a landscape with figure,and La Beige, in which the manipulation of shapes approaches pure abstraction, are more convincing, the thinking, if not literally the style, throughout this showing, tends toward the Rockwell Kent genre of popular De Luxe Edition woodcut illustration.

  • “Modern Twentieth Century Masters”

    This gallery has come up with its best show of recent months in turning dealer and importing from Europe an impressive selection of drawings by Feininger, Grosz, Klee, Lautrec, Modigliani, Pascin, Schiele, and Villon. Too much has been written and widely read on these familiar artists to say anything here, other than that this is an extremely worthwhile exhibition. One finds none of the student sketches, studio doodlings and potboilers often so eagerly bought by dealers to be cashed in on for the mere prestige of a distinguished autograph. Each exhibit is a telling and distinctive revelation of

  • Peter Shoemaker

    Mr. Shoemaker’s exhibition displays a diversity of approaches to problems of method and style. The core of his current showing, however, would appear to be a group of large, abstract seascapes in oil, in which, turning to the past, he expounds a sensitive rapport with both the palette and the cubism of Robert Delauney in the period between 1912 and 1913. Shoemaker is nonetheless disconcertingly unable to use this rapport as a point of departure for the building of a more personal idiom, but the results are technically competent and tasteful.

    Palmer D. French

  • John Mancini

    This is an all too extensive exhibition of oil paintings expounding schematically treated cityscapes and “checkerboard” agrarian landscapes. Some Italian Piazzas and roof-top scenes seem to be studies after de Chirico. The monotony and banality of it all soon permit attention to wander to the cradles of prints where one discovers the most truly inviting treasure-trove of graphics in San Francisco. Here are not only the great and familiar names among contemporary graphicists, but intriguing examples of work by a younger generation of as yet little-known Europeans.

    Palmer D. French