San Francisco

Faculty Exhibition

San Francisco Art Institute

Joe Humphreys displays environmental portraits that manage to tell us nothing about either the person or his environment. His noncommittal people are set against meaningless backgrounds which merely fill the picture areas. Each photo seems to have been unerringly selected from a contact sheet to reveal as little excitement, insight or significance as possible.

Blair Stapp, while not having achieved anything remotely resembling a personal style is at least willing to explore his medium. A willingness which, while it does not justify hanging a show, is certainly a laudable attribute when dealing with students.

The exhibition was Morley Baer, the department’s chairman. Baer is a superlative craftsman and stylist. One of the more valid uses of the big camera is its application in preserving the feeling of a scene by actually presenting a “view.” When this is done successfully it employs the tonal range of the big negative and its ability to retain detail to create a viewing time parallel to that which would be spent on the scene itself, while at the same time retaining the quality of photographic vision. Baer’s photos, especially those of Fleurville, Forest Monte Rio and Bolinas Lagoon, accomplish this and do it with stylistic elegance rarely seen in photographs.

Arthur Bardo