San Francisco

“Supplement to the Annual”

Hobbs Gallery

The gallery owner emphasizes that this is not a group of refusées but an exhibition of Western artists, some of whom showed in the Annual and others who preferred not to enter. There are two or three works by each. Several of the paintings are as good as many in the Annual but the quality is uneven and the show as a whole is unquestion­ably inferior to the exhibition it is in­tended to supplement.

Some of the most satisfactory paint­ings are by the veteran Louis Siegriest, whose work seems to get progressively better as the years go by and who has a painting in the Annual. His land­scapes have become wholly abstract but they are extraordinarily evocative of the desert from whose soil Siegriest obtains the pigments which he mixes with poly­vinyl glue to form his medium.

Lundy Siegriest has supplanted his thickly textured, prismatic oils, of which Ridge Fire is the best in this show, with new works on a larger scale in mixed media, sandy textures and small painted accents being played off against areas of bare wood.

Two very different painters are out­standing in this exhibition. Louis Gu­tierrez (Ford Foundation purchase from the Annual) does elegant collages in blacks, purples and greys, pitted and scraped but glossy, as if they had been rubbed smooth through ancient genera­tions. Archie Gonzales traces simple forms with gradations of faint greys and whites on white, creating fragile poetry with minimal means.

The drawings of bulls by Fredric Hobbs are fine––complex, expressive and highly sculptural. It is hard to un­derstand, then, why his sculptures in the exhibition are not better than they are. The translucent colored sheets pro­jecting from the surface so as to catch the light are destructive of form as is the glaring color that is blended with the magnesite or applied to the surface. The sculptures are meant to be ven­turesome but are only unsuccessful. Hobbs has an important commission for an altarpiece of the Apocalypse. The sketches for it look exciting. Hopefully, the result will this time justify the expectation.

Helen Giambruni