San Francisco

Jean-Marie Calmettes

Pomeroy Gallery

A man of superb talents, displaying a strange contrast between style and content. In Kneeling Nude and Still Life with Blue Jar his principal constructional device is a blinding flood of white paint, surrounded by dimly defined forms in low keyed colors. So much white demands considerable daring and skill to bring off well and Calmettes deserves a great deal of credit doing it. He achieves a superb illumination from within. But here the daring stops. There seems to be an artistic timidity, a retreat from significant statement. This is generally characteristic of the School of Paris painters. The centuries-old French tradition of surging creativity seems again to be interrupted—as it was at the time of the School of David. Perhaps the answer lies in the nature of the postwar generation in France and America, which has nothing to hate and avoids all hazard.

Robert Olmsted