San Francisco

“Eight Sculptors”

San Francisco Art Institute

Each of the sculptors was asked to present an important, recent work for this Art Bank exhibition. As a whole the show is disappointing but there are high spots. Karen Devich’s In God We Trust is outstanding. An eight foot coin sculpture with the motto across the top and a powerfully or­ganized eagle form of chromed automobile parts crashing through, its note of pop art irony is new for Miss Devich. She has been able to sound it with­out sacrificing anything of her formal strength. Reed McIntyre’s two-sided Wind––lyrical and at the same time elegant––contrasts a light, dancing fig­ure with a heavier, shrouded one against a background of golden manganese bronze. The pre-casting model for this sculpture, like most of McIntyre’s work, was made with non-traditional materials (string and cloth) in addition to the usual wax but he uses them in a purely formal way, primarily for variety of texture. Karen Devich’s bumpers and grills have something to say as parts of cars but the gentleman’s undergar­ment from which McIntyre makes one of his figures has nothing to do with the content of his work.

Nancy Genn shows a large cast bronze wall-hanging piece, calligraphic, with barbed tangles. It should make a hand­some supplement to architecture. Robert Howard has abandoned, for this show at least, his familiar, articulated sculpture for a great, monolithic slab-­head called Menhir after the ancient European stones. But somehow there is no sense of a brooding presence as there should be; the material is wrong, for one thing (composition is not stone) and the aura of history is missing.

––Helen Giambruni