Philip Leider

  • Joan Brown

    Everybody’s Darling

    IN 1955, aged 17, Joan Brown enrolled as a freshman at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In 1959 she received her B.F.A.; in 1960, aged 22, she 1) received her M.F.A. 2) held her first one­-man show in New York, at the Staempfli Gallery; 3) became the youngest artist to be shown in the Whitney Museum’s “Young America” exhibition. Since this modest entry into the art world, her work has found its way into the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Albright Art Gallery, among those of many other important institutions and individuals. Even magazines

  • West Coast Art: Three Images

    I

    The Ideas in the Exhibitions

    IT WILL PROBABLY NEVER happen again that three large separate exhibitions, all purporting to present some aspect of West Coast art, will crop up in the same place, at the same time, as the Pacific Coast Invita­tional, “The Artist’s Environment: West Coast,” and the 82nd Annual of the San Francisco Art Institute have done.1 And, if it ever does happen again, it is even less likely that we will have, as we have here, a pre­sentation chosen by a single man, another by a group of museum associates, and a third by a group of ten artists. The occasion is a godsend to the

  • Art: USA: now

    Art: USA: now, edited by Lee Nord­ness, text by Allen S. Weller (New York: Viking), 1963.

    2 volumes, 475 pages, illustrated.

    “THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED to

    Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Johnson,

    who, had they been asked,

    would have insisted it be dedicated

    instead to the American artist.”

    Probably not. A much more likely sug­gestion might have been:

    For Fibber McGee and Molly

    Who Made All This Possible

    For Mr. H. F. Johnson, of course, is the Chairman of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., better known to radio and TV listeners as “The Johnson’s Wax Company,” who one day invited Mr. Nordness “for a luncheon in which the

  • François Stahly

    Francois Stahly, edited by Walter Herdeg, introduction by Carola Giedion-Welck­er (New York: Wittenborn & Co.), 1963. 83 pages, illustrated.

    A HANDSOME BOOK, broadly presenting the many phases of Stahly’s career in a series of excellent photographs.

    Stahly’s work in conjunction with architectural commissions is among his most interesting. If the writhing, or­ganic shapes of some of his fountains lose some of their impact in being fountains, the force of his forms be­come even more intensified in those commissions where he is permitted to work in a more integrated way with the architect. The stucco

  • “Phelan Awards in Painting”

    Because the bequest which makes this exhibition possible, and which provides the award money, provides that it be limited to native Californians only, the show gets off to a crippled start from which it cannot possibly recover. (Imagine a New York exhibition limited to native New York­ers; the image that would emerge would be, at best, a distorted shadow of what New York painting actually is like.) One must subtract not only the non-natives, but the natives who do not enter, which leaves pretty slim pickings from which the jury must fill three large rooms. The result is a show with a few good

  • Gloria Brown and Robert Harvey

    The East Bay––Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, etc.––­is growing a little tired of playing sec­ond fiddle to San Francisco. The new Oakland Museum, under Paul Mills, may very well eclipse the efforts of all three San Francisco museums. Rudy Turk, at the Richmond Museum, has shown more courage and boldness over the last year and a half than any single museum director on either side of the Bay. The recently-opened Berkeley Gal­lery threatens to become, and can easily remain, the most exciting commercial gallery in the Bay Area. In this atmosphere, the opening of the Harbor Gallery in Oakland, under

  • The Fauves

    Jean-Paul Crespelle, The Fauves (Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society), 1962. 351 pages, illustrated.

    GAUGUIN AND VAN GOGH, though they disagreed about almost everything, shared a common dissatisfaction with the state of painting as it had been handed to them by the Impressionists. The Impressionist concern with light, with fidelity to nature, “with what the eye sees,” led directly in the opposite direction from what had become to both men most important: the painting as painting, color as color, and, above all, the painting as an expression of the independent vision of the artist. If the

  • Dore Ashton’s The Unknown Shore

    Dore Ashton, The Unknown Shore (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown & Co., 1962), 265 pages, Illus.

    ALTHOUGH DORE ASHTON HAS BEEN closely involved with avant-garde American painting for many years—particularly as a critic for the New York Times—it should be borne in mind that this book comes late. Almost two decades have passed since the emergence of the great painters of the New York School, and a good deal of critical analysis has seen its way to print. Still another analysis, coming this late, would be expected to be less breathless, less sketchy, would have to justify its existence, would have,

  • Victor Moscoso

    The subject matter is strange, capricious, arbitrary, but the content is of one cloth—a vision so intense, compelling, and individual that one wonders why this young artist must be hanging his exhibitions in his studio. He is probably the best figurative painter on the West Coast today.

    The little show has some rare gems: a complicated, disturbing arrangement of heads, masks and hands called Two Conspirators with Banjo, a series of “Biblical Scenes” that show a violent disregard for color, and a small painting called Fifty Grand, titled, evidently, after the Hemingway story, a blurred image of

  • Books

    Felix Brunner, A Handbook of Graphic Reproduction Processes (Teufen, Switzerland: Arthur Niggli Ltd.), 1962. 329 pages.

    IF ONE IS TO BUY A PRINT in today’s market with a reasonable assurance that he is not being cheated, he must carry his hand magnifier, and be prepared to understand what he sees through it. Which may involve a reasonably good grasp of details like this:

    In the usual aquatint the unprotected parts of the metal are etched to a uniform degree. This causes an even grey surface in the print. In the hand photogravure technique, the gelatine relief prevents the mordant from biting to
  • Germain Bazin’s The Loom of Art

    The Loom Of Art: By Germain Bazin. Simon & Schuster, N.Y., 1962. 328 Pp., Illus.

    The large, expensive art books are, for the most part, like nothing so much as our big, beautiful, blonde leading ladies of the screen. Dressed up in breathtaking technicolor, worked over from head to toe by hairdressers, cosmeticians, and other assorted perfection-makers, they are given a jumble of meaningless lines to recite, and presented to the world. At first sight, they are dazzling; later, they pall.

    This one is different. The usual perfection of layout, designed to increase our appreciation of expensiveness,

  • Books Received: The Best in Arts: Arts Yearbook 6 and The Bitter Years, 1935–41

    The Best in Arts: Arts Yearbook 6, edited by James R. Mellow (New York: Horizon Press), 1962. 168 pp. illus.

    THIS YEAR’S ARTS YEARBOOK takes the form of Mr. Mellow’s selection of articles published in Arts Magazine from the period 1956–1961. Included is Sidney Geist’s fine welcome of “A New Sculptor: Mark Di Suvero,” and a remarkable article on the Suprematist and Constructivist movements in Russia, “Avant-Garde and Revolution,” by K. A. Jelenski, which Arts was keen enough to have translated from the Polish-language “Kultura,” in 1960.

    The best in Arts has always been Hilton Kramer, and the best