San Francisco

Walter Snel­grove

Gump’s Gallery

Reminiscences of Courbet and Corot and Hudson River landscapists haunt Snel­grove’s latest exhibit. It is as if he sees these painters with the eyes of any one of a number of West Coast neo-figurative artists. This latter group, in turn, uses the figure and landscape as though they were still painting abstract-expressionist pictures. This constant dilution of styles and approaches to styles has made it possible for Snelgrove’s oeuvre to exist. His sensibility is romantic and theatri­cal in the 19th-century sense of both words. He has shrewdly taken the latest technical means (the fast brush, the controlled drip, wet in wet scumbles), and applied them to fin de siecle ends. The paintings are laden with brilliant technical virtuosity. There are passages in many of these paintings that any artist would be proud to call his own.

James Monte