San Francisco

Arthur Okamura

Feingarten Gallery

Watch out! Arthur Okamura is going through an exceptionally productive period, and this always intriguing artist is marching ahead toward greater heights. He certainly reaches them in Towards Olema, a large picture which puts Okamura closer than ever to the deep, sweeping brand of landscape for which Walter Snelgrove is especially well-known. Okamura, of course, is interested in a more refined, less immediate approach, but the strong horizontals, diagonals, and darkly romantic spaciousness provide points in common.

The Feingarten show also reveals a renewed interest in the figure, witness the Rembrandtian lady who graces Leaning Lady and Dog. At first look her presence in the landscape seems rather surrealistic. On reflection she still doesn’t precisely fit, but one realizes she’s beautifully painted. A number titled For Ryder, Coleridge and Shadows finds Okamura on an Expressionistic track—a sidetrack, I should say—involving a swordfish, a frantic Oriental wave and a dripping sun. A report of this show should not fail to mention To Van Gogh, a little gem more on the main, Occidentalized line.

Arthur Bloomfield