San Diego

San Diego

Various Venues, San Diego

This spring’s stirring art event was the arrival of a West Coast organized survey of Karel Appel’s painting, 1950 to 1960, at the Art Center in La Jolla. San Diegans got a good look at the Dutchman’s turn to Tachism, his veering from static shapes and smooth surfaces to savage entanglements and a haptic troweling on of pigments. Evolution? Rather, perhaps, Appel is first driving color, his strength, and spatial organization, his desire, to a making or breaking point to find out about his own substance. — At the same time, the Center’s one-man show gallery featured Kenneth Callahan’s esoteric drawings and small temperas on “interrelations” between man, animal and the elements; these in turn were followed by Gerd Koch’s oils linking non-objectivity with the Impressionist touch.

The Fine Arts Gallery honored Dan Dickey, a recently deceased local classicist and wise teacher, with a memorial of paintings and drawings. — In “California South,” the Art Guild’s all-media spring exhibition, the judge, Dr. Herschel Chipp, Berkeley, found Abstract Expressionism “still vigorous and still dominant,” but the first prize went to an imagist, James Strombotne. Contemporary American lithographs or the Asiatic Arts Committee’s displays of Indonesian art and artifacts and Chinese export porcelain added further notes to the Gallery’s aim to present variety on the background of its collection of Old Masters.

Students shows, always given much attention here, led at State College to discussions of whether “discovering” or “inventing” of form should rank first in art training. An exhibit at the Coronado School of Fine Arts seemed to answer that not too sharp a line should be drawn between a design’s statement and its imaginative movement.

At State College associate professor John Dirks arranged an exhibition of well-designed chairs, old and new, emphasizing technologically and esthetically inventive modern types from Thonet to Saarinen. — The Southwestern College in Chula Vista continued its discriminating displays with one-man shows of Ethel Greene’s paintings and Joyce Fitzgerald’s batiks and sandcastings.

A few more listings may indicate the activity of galleries and showplaces in town. The Public Library had an exhibit of the Art Directors’ Club; a foyer show at Globe Theater presented the young talent of Bruce Van Nostrand; the Jewish Community Center’s shows included a dual exhibit of Marj Hyde’s paintings and John Dirks’ sculpture, then a craftsmen and painters show; Helen Stockes had abstract expressions on view at Vroman’s; among exhibitors at Orr’s, all non-locals, one noted Angelo Caravaglia with small bronzes of acrobats, in line with Marini and Lachaise, Louis Macouillard, a painter-illustrator, and members of the Western Serigraph Institute demonstrating the medium’s technical potential.

Armin Kietzman