reviews

  • “Angel-Hipsterism, Beat and Zen Versus New Materials”

    The San Francisco Museum

    The San Francisco Museum’s summer gargantua entitled “Arts of the Bay Area” is a broad front local review of all the artistic activities (other than certain very important developments in film making) taking place at the present moment. The painting and sculpture section follows the general format of the total exhibition, revolving each month with a new installment of a small group of works by each artist exhibited, as against the more usual one-man-one work method of display.

    Such an exhibition is an invitation to sort and group the ideas motivating artists here, but the first installment took

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  • Wayne Thiebaud

    De Young Museum

    VITAL STATISTICS: Artist, born in Mesa, Arizona, 1920, M.F.A.’s (two). Assistant Professor of Art, University of California in Davis. Has won various prizes. Resident of Sacramento, California. Remodelled house with swimming pool. Married, clean cut appearance, knowledgeable and pleasant disposition. Drives foreign car.

    IMPORTANT PRIOR ONE-MAN EXHIBITIONS: Art Unlimited Gallery, San Francisco, Dec. 1961 (no sale). Alan Stone Gallery, New York, April 1962 (all works sold).

    IMPORTANT BUYERS: Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, James Thrall Soby, Richard Brown Baker,

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  • San Francisco Exhibits

    Various Locations

    “Bourdelle”: sculpture in cast bronze and a few drawings; The Fifth Annual Hallmark International Art Awards, painting, all at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor; the “Sol Upsher and the A. M. Robertson Collections,” paintings, at the Oakland Art Museum; Pat Cucaro, painting, at Creative Arts in Sausalito; the “Gallery Group” of paintings, crafts and sculptures at the Quai Gallery in Tiburon; “The Hunters of the North,” artifacts, “Drawings and Sculpture by Contemporary Sculptors,” all at the University of California; Holt Murray and Daryle Webb sculpture, and “Wood and Stitchery” all

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  • Summer Group Show

    Feingarten Gallery

    In a group of ten artists represented by this gallery, is the work of four well known Western painters; Ralph du Casse and Arthur Okamura of San Francisco, Carl Morris of Washington and Douglas Snow of Utah. In his current work du Casse has affected soft edged lozenges, lounging in a pleasant white void, as his “solution” to the cubist problem (believed by J. J. Sweeney, formerly of the Guggenheim Museum, to have been handled very well indeed.) Carl Morris has achieved the indigenous gloomy, potentially moving, color tonality associated with Pacific Northwest art, but marred his painting with

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  • Roland Petersen

    Gump’s Gallery

    Petersen’s latest one man exhibition continues his turgid personal progression in “Bay Area figurative painting,” at a higher, brighter, more intense pitch. At best, these paintings are professionally sound, satisfying and sensible statements of a style. However, the paintings seem somehow pervaded with a sense of unfelt emotion and artificial imagery. There is an indication that Petersen is moving from the sound, superficial performance to one of an intense, perhaps almost hallucinatory lyricism. His brighter nervous color points this way, even though his pedestrian structure and space tension

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  • Carlos Villa and William Geis

    Bolles Gallery

    This is an important exhibition. A year ago Villa’s paintings were quite powerful, even as they almost totally recapitulated an aspect of Frank Lobdell’s imagery and painterly quality. Villa’s current paintings are on the way to a mature and independent vision. The use of a biomorphic hunk in its heavily worked space has given way to a more original and complex spacial ambiguity. The sculpture of William Geis amply demonstrates that there is vital work being done and to be done in the three dimensional area of abstract expressionism, taken as a convenient term. Geis has the chance of becoming

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  • David Simpson

    David Cole Gallery

    The horizontally striped paintings of vertical format which are David Simpson’s special presentation register just as well in miniature as they do in the huge scale we generally associate with his work. These paintings at Cole’s are small, some to the point of miniature. About light-switch size. Using climbing bands of gauzy landscape alternated with repeated bands of dark, smoky color, Simpson manages to convey the idea of the infinitude of nature—that it goes on and on, through periods of storm and of calm, of light and of dark, of burnt-to-cinder drouth to burgeoning fresh green-up. No figures

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  • “Visual Landscape Maze”

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    “To stimulate responses . . . to all these events thru strange and enjoyable devices—a game with a serious purpose,” so Larry Halperin introduces his “Visual Landscape Maze” at the San Francisco Museum of Art. It is a peculiar game, most limited by its set of rules. The game is strictly confined to the visual aspect of our environment, neglecting any design reflection of the psychological or physiological senses such as taste, touch, smell or sound. Also, this visual presentation relies upon static 2-dimensional images to represent the dynamic multi-dimensional human environment, omitting all

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  • “Photographs of the Dance Theatre”

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    The second phase of the “Arts of San Francisco” brought new prints to the gallery in mid-July. Six printmakers are showing, and of them Beth van Hoesen and George Miyasaki probably offer the greatest contrast, giving some idea of the scope of printmaking today. Miss van Hoesen, a master of probing line, is intensely analytical, whether her subject be rocks, radishes, or a self-portrait. Most of our skilled printmakers today are just that—they are known for their skill in printmaking. George Miyasaki is more: he is a creative artist as well, an image maker, and a painter of note. Especially in

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  • “Crafts Exhibition”

    San Francisco Museum Of Art

    For its summer show, “The Arts of San Francisco,” the Museum of Art has refurbished one of its small galleries to house the crafts. The show currently in progress is the last of three presentations from local weavers, potters, and metalworkers.

    During the three month period, each presentation has contained a few pieces of timeless quality and expert workmanship. However, there is little versatility in the show as a whole, and the few outstanding pieces are not significantly different except in a degree of refinement.

    In all fairness, the quality of this work cannot be attacked. However, this

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  • Vahan Amadouni

    De Young Museum

    In her courageous program, Miss Ninfa Valvo, the curator, has presented many important one man exhibitions of contemporary art at this museum. Amadouni’s current exhibition is a serious mistake. These paintings are large, yet trivial, abstract expressionist performances, where a brightly colored ground is overpainted with wide bands of dense, black paint in the manner of Soulages. The paintings are bad and unworthy of a museum presentation, because they are: (1) nakedly derivative. (If we took Amadouni seriously, we would extrapolate Soulages as the supreme genius of mid century art.) (2)

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  • “Art Bank”

    San Francisco Art Institute

    Among the current selections of member artists of the San Francisco Art Association, there are several intriguing works to be noted: Philip Linhares’ sincere engagement with the problem of intimate metaphysical assemblage applied to current oil painting scale . . . the serious struggle with polychrome sculpture by Sally Hellyer . . . a recent copper-coated sculpture of macabre symbolist overtones by John Pearson, and a vigorous black and orange painting by Deborah Remington. The current Art Bank catalogue could well serve as a model, in its physical format, for catalogues yet to be witnessed by

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  • Erik Hoberg

    Pomeroy Galleries

    In a room of gracious intimacy, beyond opulent quarters permanently featuring “outstanding European artists” such as Caffe, Chapelain-Midy, Eve, Foppiani, Poucette, Sinko, Ubeda, and Voyet, E. J. H. Hoberg’s delicacies consist of exactly the right dessert. The most remarkable quality of Hoberg’s art is the beguiling, unspecific way it resembles aspects of each of his acknowledged teachers: Laufman, Garrett, Lewis, Barnet, von Wicht, Sternberg, and Peining (student of Klee.)

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Werner Drews

    Achenbach Foundation For Graphic Arts, California Palace Of The Legion Of Honor

    Crisp, angular drawing and bold abstract pattern used by an artist who knows how to fuse them with his own visual experience, to disclose the essential character of his subject—in this case, landscape. To counteract the discipline of design, in his more recent prints, Werner Drews goes into the expressionistic use of clear primary color. He is not as effective with it as he is with the direct statement of black, white, and one graded color.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • Justine Carey

    Triangle Gallery

    It is not often that an artist presents serious subject-matter in transparent watercolor, but Miss Carey has attempted a series of papers on Genesis. Eighteen are exhibited. Technically they are magnificent—the artist has full control of her medium. In content, however, they vary. Those dealing with the creation of energy and of matter are direct and interpretive—suggesting that they were immediately ordered by God. Those dealing with the creation of life are more contrived, and suggest evolution rather than special creation.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • Group Show

    Dilexi Gallery

    Selected paintings and sculptures by the regular artists of this gallery. The works have been carefully chosen, yet the technical excellence and creative power of Wilfrid Zogbaum stands out. His sculpture is a time-defying combination of Oriental meditativeness, European inquisitiveness and American inventiveness.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • California Society of Etchers

    De Young Museum

    The effect of the California Society of Etchers exhibition is anesthetic to such a preponderant degree that it seems impossible to recall, or single out, any individual work in this selection, which included 39 artists from thirteen states and one foreign country.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Joseph Tanous and Jane Bacher

    Pantechnicon Gallery

    Joseph Tanous’ first one-man show lacks the unity and confidence of a more experienced exhibitor, but is not lacking in quality. The show has been selected to attract sales rather than criticism. His thorough training, humor and imagination are evidenced in the delightful little Brueghelish composition of children playing in snow. An enamel painting of one huge pinkish-blue wave, deceptively sweet and beautiful despite the menacing power of the underlying sea, reveals a North Dakota boy’s understanding of and respect for the elements.

    Jane Bachner’s limited editions of serigraphs are colorful

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  • Robert Watson

    Maxwell Galleries

    The catalogue’s claim is that Robert Watson is “one of the worthier living American painters, born in Martinez, California, 1923.” Considering this specific datum, the claim is undoubtedly accurate. Watson’s paintings consist of spacious vistas . . . huge spacious empty vistas . . . huge architectural empty remnants . . . tiny figures . . . empty tiny figures contemplating vast empty vistas . . . empty. The color tonality is best described as blue-green throughout.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Group Show

    Fredric Hobbs Fine Art

    Paintings by Louis Siegriest, Lundy Siegriest (not his latest work), Robert Clutton, Fredric Hobbs, Safford, Pearsall, Hill, Gutierrez, Colburn (watercolors). Dominating the show is Hobbs’ remarkable colored (not poly-chromed) sculpture titled Headmask for Jupiter. Inserted shards of stained glass create a variable lighting, giving this pagan head a strangely Gothic character. Like Jupiter, the Mask, during the course of a day, assumes many visages without disturbing the fundamental quality of the god himself.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • Joe Brotherton

    De Young Museum

    This fifty-four year old Western artist exhibits atmospheric abstract landscapes of oriental flavor which display a vast array of paint application techniques (monoprint, frottage, collage, watercolour, etc.) Individual panels are hinged in a variety of ways to form multi-adaptable screens (such as corner modulators, room dividers, etc.) The work is interesting, but difficult (as is perhaps intended) to consider as painting.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Artists’ Cooperative

    Artists’ Cooperative

    Unusual in that it is staffed by the exhibiting artists, this gallery offers diversified paintings at reasonable prices. Among the dozens of artists represented, four are featured in July: William Aiken, Lee Shapiro, Elizabeth Charleston and Lee Thompson. Aiken, by far the better painter of the group, uses flickering brushstrokes of thin paint in pale colors to build up an autoluminescent surface. He works toward, or away from, a gold-en-mein corner, keeping some contact with the original figure or “object.” Lee Shapiro’s diaphanous still-lifes are pleasant.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • Lorena Dreyer

    Ed Lesser Gallery

    This artist, in her sixties, painted for a number of years in Mexico and at the present time, works in San Francisco. The paintings are of a scale to conveniently fit a small apartment. They are non-objective in form, Parisian in flavor, romantically symbolic in content, widely varied in color, but not texture, and amateurish in execution.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • “Student Art Awards from the California State Fair”

    Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento

    Either the awards are not large enough, or their talent is not great enough, to encourage and sustain those art students who win prizes in State Fair competitions. Very few of the winners are heard of even five years after taking their prizes. The Sacramento show covers a 14-year period, and of the purchase prize winners, only Beth van Hoesen (drawing, 1951), Nathan Oliviera (print, 1952), Jack Zajac (oil, 1951) and D. Faralla (oil, 1952) are heard from in any major capacity today. The question is raised: Should the State Fair give less and larger prizes in the student division?

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • “Japanese Actor Prints”

    R. E. Lewis, Inc.

    Current presentation of Japanese Actor Prints contains at least eight beautiful examples of color woodcuts. This should be of interest to collectors and connoisseurs of Japanese graphics, but the exhibit (along with Lewis’ wealth of fine graphic art on file) would seem to invite inspection by artists as well.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Robert Gilberg

    Gallery Of Fine Arts

    This fifty year old artist working in the isolation of Angels Camp, California, paints naively Picassoesque images of female figures and interiors. The artist uses a curious bold mechanical technique where line and form lack almost any sign of brush, or even pallette knife, touch. One of Gilberg’s latest paintings, On Target, moves affirmatively in a similar direction to that of Stuart Davis.

    ––Walter Hopps

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  • Lou Buettner

    Arabesque Gallery

    Buettners lyrical watercolors of the Northwest rate above his expressionistic figure studies in oil.

    ––E. M. Polley

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  • Fred Spratt

    Ruthermore Galleries

    Spratt has made the most of the weather in his landscape and genre paintings. They are heavy with mood, dark and rich in color.

    ––E. M. Polley

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