San Francisco

G. H. Merritt and Roberto Kan

Lucien Labaudt

In most of G. H. Merritt’s paintings two or three juicy swipes of color make a central conformation over a thinner ground. The more complex paintings like Tidal Structures are stronger but although they clearly show the influence of Julius Wasserstein, Merritt’s teacher, they do not equal Wasserstein’s power.

Roberto Kan is a young Mexican paint­er of Hindu-Mexican parentage who has had some success in his homeland. His exhibition is largely made up of land­scapes and street scenes, unsophisti­cated––Kan has had little formal train­ing––but not unskilled. He compen­sates for prosaic color and a deficiency in drawing with his strong sense of de­sign, most evident in the near abstracts Devotion and Children in the Street in which he makes use of black silhou­ettes against adobe walls. The most audacious painting, and one which is very different from the rest of the show, is a night street scene The Sentinel. The painting is cut in two by a balu­strade giving an effect of splintered planes, oddly translucent, but not re­lated in any way to cubism’s re-assem­blage of planar fragments. The least interesting paintings are prosily object­bound, untransformed by artistic ima­gination. 

Helen Giambruni