San Francisco

“Some New Guys”

New Mission Gallery

Rodger Jacobsen, a sculptor in his early twenties, has work on view at the San Francisco Art lnstitute’s 82nd Annual, the New Mission Gallery and Dilexi Gallery. At present he is influenced by the forms so prevalent in the sculpture and painting of the instructors and students alike at the San Francisco Art Institute. His pieces, however, have a mature authority of execution that transcends his influences. 

Joe Goode and Llyn Foulkes are both New Realists and both fit nicely into the term. Their works have nothing to do with realism or abstraction in the usual way those words are used. Be­cause of the radical nature of the new reality, both of the older camps, the abstract and the representational, have been particularly violent in their cries of charlatanism, fraud, etc., etc. Goode’s work has been particularly misunder­stood. Starkly simple, his paintings are composed of a canvas painted all over in a tint of a single primary or secondary color. The canvas is then placed upon a wooden base which protrudes a few inches in front of the picture––remind­ing one of a stage set––and on this flat area is placed a carefully painted milk bottle whose form is repeated flatly on the picture plane behind the “real” bottle. The uproar this has created stems from three distinct sources: the general public, feeling it is an affront to their collective sanity; the abstract artists who feel it is “literary” and dis­miss it as such; and the figurative paint­ers who dismiss it as a fraudulent, contentless hoax designed to trap gul­lible collectors. The truth is that Goode and others of this genre are involved with an inversion of reality. Goode has taken a common object, the milk bottle, and, rather than representing the bottle as a painted presence on canvas, has deliberately and effectively chosen to paint the bottle itself and only sec­ondarily painted the image of the bottle on the monochromed canvas. The final object has an over-all non-committal blandness which almost but not quite hides its radical concept. Llyn Foulkes and Richard van Buren are the third and fourth “New Guys,” each of whom shows excellent examples of his work.

James Monte