San Francisco

Louis Gutierrez and Ralph Pearsall

Fredrick Hobbs Gallery

This first one­man show by Louis Gutierrez covers his recent developments. His earliest painting is a colorful seco-surfaced panorama derived from landscape. More recent work limits his palette to blacks and umbers, developing a waxy surface par­tially textured by collage and depending upon value organization more than color orchestration. With it he paints a series on Light as structure, as balance, as organization. “Series painting” has its pitfalls, one of them being that the theory of the masterpiece is weakened: instead of a solid major work representing the culmination of the artist’s ex­perience, each episode in his work-life has equal value because of equal au­thenticity. Yet it is natural for a young artist to treat painting in a serial man­ner, to probe his own consciousness. In a way it is a welcome antidote to abuses of the idea of the masterpiece. However, serial paintings must be sub­ject to some of the traditional canons applicable to single works of art. One must, then, consider Gutierrez’s “Light” series as a unit, as well as individual works. They are concretions of tightly­-pasted collage surfaces painted with translucent glazes, the qualities of light being the whole subject matter. As a unit they are not entirely conclusive in their statements on the physical characteristics of light, yet each painting stands up well when one views them individually rather than in support of one-another as the story of light. Ralph Pearsall’s skillful etchings and freely brushed little views of Venice are in the upper gallery.

E. M. Polley