San Francisco

Frances Baxter

M. H. de Young Memorial Museum

Small hardwood sculptures of animals and insects, sometimes mounted on stone. From such close-grained, rich-colored woods as ebony, rosewood and lignum vitae, which lend themselves to the subtle delineation of edges and to the ultimate realization of volume, Miss Baxter carves figures ranging in size from a few inches to a foot which manage to suggest the monumentality of ancient Egyptian sculpture and the animal art of early China. She convincingly represents the darting action of tadpoles and motionless suspension of small fish by mounting them obliquely or horizontally tangent to waterworn stones. Searching for the expressive vitality of living creatures she considers herself neither an abstractionist nor a representationalist, but strives to be both. She has now reached that goal. Where next?

E. M. Polley