San Francisco

Henry Fujioka, Taisuke Hamada

Gump’s Gallery

Fujioka is a young Bay Area painter who studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. His paintings on view at Gump’s inner gallery are loose, thickly brushed landscapes of what appears to be the area behind the Berkeley Hills. The composition of the pictures is usually held firm by a large tree or series of trees reaching out towards the right and left sides of the support. This pictorial device consumes the two-dimensional space in the same manner as open and linear metal sculpture activates the three-dimensional space it occupies. The mistake Fujioka sometimes makes is his insistence on packing the surface of the less successful pictures with too much visual activity. The result is a mild optical traffic jam.

Hamada is a recently arrived Japanese action painter. He shares with many of his compatriots the peculiar trait which separates Japanese post-war action painting from the European or American variety. The Japanese, using the strictest of spontaneous disciplines manage to turn out paintings so incredibly elegant that one wonders whether they were made by alchemists rather than artists.

James Monte