San Francisco

The Grunewald Collection of Prints

San Francisco Museum of Art

On loan from the University of California at Los Angeles is this superb collection of prints. It contains a wide and rich variety of works by most of the major European artists of the latter half of the 19th century and early part of the 20th. Apart from Steinlen, every artist is a major figure as a painter. The Impressionists are thoroughly represented, there is a Manet portrait of Lola de Valence which reveals his enormous debt to Goya, excellent works by Degas, Cézanne, Renoir and Bonnard. But a dramatic red and yellow woodcut by Gauguin from his Tahiti period dated 1894 and entitled Te Po is outstanding. It is a forerunner of the most exciting and original art in the whole exhibition, that is the work of the Brucke group, who exploited the woodcut for its direct and immediate quality, its strong simple contrasts of black and white, and powerful quality of expression by the most simple means. These woodcuts of Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, Nolde and Munch stand out in this exhibition as the most complete and extraordinary works of art.

John Coplans