reviews

  • Arts of San Francisco

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    Through July and August all of the galleries of the museum are being used to present the creative activity of Bay Area artists. Intended to give the visitor to the city a view of the character of the arts in and around San Francisco, the show will be changing in part at specified times, to present a “view in depth” of the artists who contribute to the cultural vitality of the program. Seventy-five artists have been asked to show their work in a series of small one-man exhibitions of three to five works each. This type of show does penetrate the area activity, but does not give too deep a view

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  • Peter Voulkos, Reed Mclntrye, Julius Schmidt, Harold Paris, Tio Giambruni, Richard O’Hanlon, Donald Haskin, Dennis Beall, Lilian Delevoryas, Richard Graf, John L. lhle and Karl Kasten

    Arts of San Francisco

    The sculpture section of the Arts of San Francisco has a catalogue and a title of its own. A title that is somewhat misleading, since some of the sculptures suggest a burgeonation that belies the slow-flowing quality of “molten”—Peter Voulkos’ huge bronze Vargas, for instance. So much latent power is suggested in this figure that we almost join in the struggle to break through the “skin” of the metal. However, no title is ever completely descriptive, and today’s sculptors with their suggestion of continuing movement are releasing sculpture from the frozen art it once was, making of it the

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  • Ruth Bernhard, Don Worth, William Garnett, Richard Sherman, Bill Gamble, Ross Mandel, Wynne Bullock, Bob Coyne, Jack Welport, Margeret Halderman, Wayne Miller, Barbara Cannon Myers and David Holman

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    Twelve photographers are represented: Ruth Bernhard, Don Worth, William Garnett, Richard Sherman, Bill Gamble, Ross Mandel, Wynne Bullock, Bob Coyne, Jack Welport, Margeret Halderman, Wayne Miller, Barbara Cannon Myers and David Holman.

    One immediately presupposes from the hanging of this exhibition in the corridor of the Museum that photography is a minor art unworthy of the full presentation granted to either painting, sculpture or architecture. After all corridors, being access to and from someplace, are really an ideal environment for this media which has no tradition. Proof of the ability

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  • Commerical Arts of the Bay Area

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    Until such time as a different concept of a museum exists, the San Francisco Museum of Art, in exhibiting the industrial and graphic arts of the Bay Area is still expected to play the role of an aesthetic guide.

    Suffering as we do nowadays from what may be described as coca-cola-itis, (the Jack Tar Hotel, San Francisco, is a perfect example of this diseased outlook); where nearly everything manufactured is flashy and stupid, glossy and garish, chromed and luridly colored; a continuous flow of mass produced articles which are commercially attractive, but essentially unreal. They arise out of an

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  • David Park, Tom Holland and Byron Burford

    Oakland Museum of California

    Tom Holland’s show is prefaced with biographical remarks, among them his strong influence from the ideas of David Park in 1958-59. Burford’s show also is prefaced by biography, chiefly a list of other exhibitions and awards. (Holland has no other one-man shows and is short on awards). To review both shows in the context of the Park show at Oakland is appropriate because all are in the east bay. It is especially fitting because they all are (as art must be in the east bay) institutionally, rather than commercially, sponsored; and Park was never commercial property during his lifetime.

    David Park

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  • Emil Nolde

    Lewis Gallery

    The German Expressionists were painters first and foremost, and Emil Nolde, whose real name was Hansen, is one of the most notable of them. His long struggle out of a peasant environment to the realm of art by way of the cramping professions of arts and crafts teacher and pattern designer gave his painting, when he finally shed his accumulation of conventions, an eruptive quality—seething and foaming colors made to yield the utmost passion. With simplicity and imagination, he brought forth symbolic paintings in “colors with a life of their own, laughing and crying, happy and dreamy, burning and

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  • Henry P. McIllhenney Collection

    Legion of Honor

    What is art? For whose spirit is its lift? If it depress or merely bore or leave unmoved, may one question the art; or rather, must enquiry be addressed only to the failing spirit? How can the spirit be so taken by work of little renown (Tom Holland, even Robert Hudson) and be left unmoved and disappointed in this brown (tobacco stain) room, among these brown paintings in brown gold frames? Is it the French spirit that fails, or is it the 20th Century American, victim of irredeemable new lusts of body and soul, who finds never a satisfaction?—But there is the bitter curl of mouth in Mme. Cézanne

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  • Paul Granlund

    Legion of Honor

    Good enough to see, not good—striking—enough to write about. The clay or wax is thick and clumsy, often blocking full sensitivity of the forms. The vision was first sighted by Rodin and has changed little in the intervening 50 years. The Requiem was best and least repetitive of all the others.

    —Fred Martin

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  • Wayne Theibaud, Lida Giambastiani, Don Reich, Ruth Elliot, Carl Morris, George Harding, William Ritchel and Phil Paradise

    Crocker Art Museum

    Exhibitions from the permanent collection are up for the summer and afford rewarding browsing for the historian: the 1870’s (E. B. Crocker) Collection, the Oriental Collection, the Ralph Lee Collection of religious and devotional art, the Rococco Gallery, and the 20th Century Collection. The Crocker’s avowed objective is the building of fine arts collections to strengthen the educational effectiveness of the museum. No effort is made to be all inclusive in any one art or period, “nor is it the intention to specialize.” Yet the Crocker Art Gallery has specialized. In conservatism. Its emphasis

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  • William Lyberis

    Gump’s Gallery

    William Lyberis is a Nebraska artist who has studied widely and has traveled abroad—once on a Fulbright Grant to study and work with Marcel Brion. There is a rich quality to his color, a softness to his shapes, and tender poetry in his subject matter. Maybe his landscapes are imagined, or maybe they are remembered—but they are the stuff that dreams are made of.

    —E. M. Polley

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  • Sugai Paintings and Hudson Drawings

    Bolles Gallery

    The light, the quality of the walls and the fact that the air one breathes is provided by a fan, give the visitor to the Bolles “Petite Gallery” a distinct sense of unreality. The environment is pure machine. The drawings of Robert Hudson shown in this machine attest the depth and range of the tradition he has been taught by Frank Lobdell. It is a great tradition, the drawings are good drawings.

    Sugai, upstairs at Bolles, shows better on better walls, though still in a light of pronounced artificiality. The tradition he has learnt in Paris of the marriage of Japanese and Parisian taste with

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  • Eugene Berman

    Pantechnicon

    In the thirties Berman was an artist noted for his ballet, theatre and stage designs. He activated his imagery with those ideas that Dali and Chirico shared in common at the height of metaphysical surrealism. Now, some thirty years later, he currently exhibits a series of recent drawings, skillfully executed, elegant and sophisticated, which recreate for the observer 18th century Italian Baroque. An ideal kind of art for those people who are cultural refugees from the twentieth century.

    —John Coplans

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  • Dimitri Grachis

    Green Gallery

    Grachis has stripped his canvas of all pretensions or borrowed gestures. On a white paint textured surface he manipulates a limited number of small forms . . . circles and rectangles in light or dark blue, sometimes one is yellow, all loosely brushed in. He uses this sparse imagery to perceptually engage the spectators attention, but without the employment of optical or eye ball flicker, but rather by a refined plastic sensibility.

    —John Coplans

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  • Joe Jones and Diana Law

    Maxwell Galleries

    Joe Jones, an incurable romantic who established himself on the American scene as a regional painter in the late ’30s, is one of the country’s best known landscape artists. His early paintings were somewhat chauvinistic in their “song of America” vein, with surging rhythm and vigorous brush-strokes. Now he has a softer touch, and a wide range of pearly greys which he applies thinly in a minor key to evoke a romantic mood vitalized by sparing use of variable black line. He places emphasis simultaneously on simplified realism and geometric abstraction—linear pattern for the one, color pattern for

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  • Estelle Chaves

    Artists Co-op

    Miss Chaves paints with rigorous precision the abandoned and peopleless Italianate street scene or view through the window to the empty boats and beach. There is little doubt of her virtuosity but one is curious to know what kind of a painter this young Californian would be if she dropped her borrowed mannerism. At the same gallery Ada Garfinkel shows a number of abstracts and Jean Kalisch some cubistic illustrations of the city scene.

    —John Coplans

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  • Lorena Dreyer, Stephanie Steinberg

    Ed Lesser Gallery

    Three phases in the development of Lorena Dreyer here, two of them consistent, one definitely out of orbit. A longtime resident of Mexico, Mrs. Dreyer understands the raw organic shapes of cactus growths and the peculiarly ordered clutter of santos-filled interiors of Mexican village chapels—where Catholicism and paganism often fuse into an exotic form of worship. On the subject of outer-space, she is amateurish.

    —E. M. Polley

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  • Grace Hudson

    California Historical Society

    Miss Hudson evidently had two styles, the sharp-focus realism of her (perhaps early) “Little Mendocino” in the Sloss Collection at the Society, and the style of the pictures currently on view. These look as much like partly colored semi-fuzzy 1910 photos as possible. Those already interested in photos of Indians will like the show. Artistically, it is instructive in what not to do. This kind of thing, done in 1910, killed general interest in the Indians from that day to this.

    —Fred Martin

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  • Robert Clutton

    Hobbs Gallery

    Clutton adopts the doubtful role of a shaman via Celtic and Pre Columbian iconography in his paintings. When he lays aside this priestly role as in a painting entitled Release, his sensibility as a contemporary artist re-asserts itself.

    —John Coplans

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  • Bernard George

    Laas George Gallery

    Bernard George exhibits a large wood and painted metal chess set with other whimsical sculptures.

    —John Coplans

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