San Francisco

Fredric Hobbs

Edward Quill Gallery

A recent series on “The Ritual of the Bull,” and a detailed linear study for The Apocalypse, a massive sculpture which is being considered for the Episcopal Church at Big Sur. Hobbs agrees with Ingres that “drawing is the probity of art,” and he fears, not without reason, that it is becoming a lost art. His hypothetical Ritual was made with the thought in mind that the point of drawing is to see form and then make it come alive with disciplined freedom of line. This he has done. The series was conceived as a symbolic festival rather than a literal interpretation of the Corrida, and the drawings were executed with laundry markers during a period of four days, to preserve the continuity. With this speed of delivery, while the idea was fresh and the hand supple and unfaltering, he produced a body of works that are challenging both technically and esthetically.

The spirit, if not the hand, of Goya hovers over these drawings. The Goya of the he-goat, the Witches Sabbaths, the Parade of the Flagellantes and the Bewitched Priest, as well as the Goya of the Corrida. But Hobbs owes him a debt of sympathy only. They both see the bull as a tragic symbol and respond with empathy toward his tormentors.

If his plans are realized, Hobbs’ sculpture will be a magnificent fusion of art and architecture. Meanwhile the drawing stands as an exciting work of art in itself.

E. M. Polley