San Francisco

John Roeder

Richmond Art Center

Naive sculpture, garden decorations and other objects. A small postscript to the extensive retrospective of Roeder’s painting and sculpture presented here two years ago, this exhibition concen­trates mainly on the artist’s minor works. A retired gardener, Roeder made many of these pieces for his own gar­den (soon to be destroyed); and it is the gardener’s media he uses––cement, broken flower pots and shells, twigs and leaves. Although the work is uneven in quality and much of it is repetitious, even at its worst it reveals a truly inven­tive decorative sense. Moreover, apart from its engaging naïveté, Roeder’s work claims current attention for its relation­ship to contemporary trends in the use of junk in art. His motives are personal––an urge to put his own stamp on everything he touches and a refusal to throw anything away; there is no com­ment here on the status of art or society.

Betty Breckin­ridge