San Francisco

The 81st Painting Annual

San Francisco Museum of Art

It is depressing to see an important Museum’s walls plastered with such obvious trivia, tripe and blatent cookery . . . fakes of Pollock, Tapies, Braque, Giacometti, Burri, etc. With students work wallowing in unabsorbed influences such as “my reflections in a window” of Robert Bechtle—crammed with derivations from Giacometti and Bacon via Oliviera; with a slice of Diebenkorn thrown in. With deliberate and obvious jokes such as Adventure by Yloh Wok, (Holy Kow). Out of the one hundred and twelve works exhibited an occasional painting shines through such as One of the Insecta by Sophie Saras.

But what is even more depressing is the seemingly collective contempt for art of all those responsible for this appalling exhibition, as if the primary and only aim was, how, with the minimum of thought and effort, to fill the walls with paintings rather than to isolate and present a few works of significant art.

John Coplans