San Francisco

“Bay Area Group”

San Francisco Art Institute

One recent major painting each from Joel Barletta, Lundy Siegriest, Ralph T. Field, and William Wiley. Tapestry by Mark Adams. These artists have selected large paintings, indicative of their latest directions. Highlighting the show is the enormous tapestry, “Great Wing,” designed by Adams and woven in France by Paul Avignon. It was exhibited last summer in the Biennale International of Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland, but has not been previously shown in San Francisco. By spreading the wrist section of a huge wing diagonally across the picture plane, developing the feather pattern in brilliant colors against glowing red, Adams creates a symbol of today’s exciting flight-conscious world. He often uses the sweep of a wing as design, always with great success.

Joel Barletta’s untitled abstraction of gauzy blacks, reds and greys shows to better advantage here, as a single exhibit, than in his recent one-man show at Dilexi, where the multiplicity of vertical-horizontal bands of the entire group tended to nullify the importance of the individual canvas.

Lundy Siegriest’s mineralized view of “East of Reno” is geographical in content and geological in surface—the very essence of the desiccated Nevada landscape.

In “The Satyr,” Ralph Field adds nothing to the figurative idiom of de Kooning, but does present a new kind of mechanized hybrid—the man on the motorcycle. Somehow not as exciting as the goat-legged, curly-horned man-creature of mythology, but with the passing of centuries he, too, may become legend. Field has started him on the road, with tail-light glowing.

William Wiley’s “Columbus Re-Routed, #5” is the latest of a series of paintings with this title, yet it stands well alone as an interesting development of the Columbus saga. Combining dark peninsular and lozenge shapes, clotted areas of sargasso green, and such symbols as caverns, shackles and the wilted leaves of the Trinity, it stirs the imagination. Wiley’s rich paint surface asserts itself without obscuring the spirit of the picture.

Elizabeth M. Polley