San Francisco

Robert Biancalana

Art Unlimited

Essentially, Biancalana’s wood intarsia objects are paintings, or at least they function as paintings. The artist has substituted for the painting act the search of weathered wooden planks that have been painted or stained some time in the past. The wood is then cut into the desired shapes and fitted together in the same manner as a jig-saw puzzle is fitted in place. Biancalana is careful to control the spaces between the individual pieces of wood so as to define the separate planes in the total composition. The cratsmanship in all the work is of the highest order. Unfortunately, some of the pictorial ideas Biancalana uses are rather trite and just a bit too easy. In two of the works previewed, landscapes were presented with very high horizons plus a few inches of bright color on the horizon line to add interest. This is a commercial illustrator’s trick that has been bouncing around for years. The possibilities of Biancalanqa’s medium are too rich for him to indulge himself in simple solutions to plastic problems.

James Monte