San Francisco

Louis Macouillard, Nobuo Kitagaki, and Gerolamo Albavera

Maxwell Galleries

Nostalgic paintings of San Francisco and the South Pacific, care­fully designed collages, and quick and lively drawings. Maxwell operates one of the most successful commercial gal­leries in California, by choosing a stable of artists able to “please a discriminat­ing public” as well as qualify in open competition in the broader scope of contemporary work. These three exhibi­tors make the point.

Macouillard’s harbor scenes and ex­otic crossroads are painted with thor­ough knowledge of both his subject and his craft. Though literary with romance, when stripped to their underlying struc­ture they are yet interesting as geomet­ric pattern or emotionally expressive color composition. Kitagaki, a student of Maholy-Nagy and still indebted to him, makes little concession to the subject in his collages. He balances his precise geometry precariously between linear and aerial perspective by means of cut (edge) line and advancing-reced­ing color combinations. It is the emo­tional appeal of rich color that saves the strict discipline of traditional Japan from cold intellectualism in his work. Gerolamo Albavera’s drawings are de­ceivingly spontaneous. At times the ac­tivity of cafe and street life are seem­ingly caught in one continuous inter­weaving line. He tends, however, to make the city’s heavily wired telephone poles overly important, as if in awe of them.

––E. M. Polley