reviews

  • Manuel Neri

    New Mission Gallery

    A few of the painted plaster figures on which Manuel Neri has been working have appeared here and there during the past few months. The 82nd Annual of the San Francisco Art Institute fea­tured one, a group show at the Berkeley Gallery another, and two more were seen at the recent Oakland Museum sculp­ture exhibition. On the basis of them one might have expected a more finished quality, technically, and a more lyrical quality, emotionally, in this one­-man exhibition. But technical finish has never interested Neri and that inclina­tion toward the lyrical that one suspects to be native to his

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  • Art Holman

    De Young Museum

    Mr. Holman works principally in an idiom that is best described as Abstract Im­pressionism. Like the original Impres­sionists, he is much concerned, in a very technical sense, with optics and the optical properties of his media: colors are “fragmented,” modulated and juxtaposed, and glazes are employed, as are other devices of texturing, with reference to optical dynamics, and with the knowledgeability of a physicist care­fully exploring properties of pigmented chemicals. The work may, therefore, be described as technically “objective” and “experimental,” while the overall es­thetic result sought

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  • Joseph Albers

    San Francisco Mu­seum of Art

    Early in his career as an artist, Joseph Albers worked with glass and plastics in line with the Bauhaus enthusiasm for new materials and meth­ods. With the advent of Naziism in his native Germany, he moved to the United States, teaching his first classes in America with the aid of a translator. During his first decade in America he took to oil painting, but used a palette knife, primarily, and painted a rigorously architectural delineation of space, with persistent examination of the possibili­ties within the limitations of black, white and grey.

    This is an ironic beginning for an ar­tist whose

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  • Arthur G. Dove

    Gumps Gallery

    The work of Arthur G. Dove (1880–1946) covers a wide range of highly imaginative ex­periments in various idioms and modes of syntax, as well as a considerable range of qualitative variability. This ex­hibition is a disappointment in that it is comprised mainly of examples of this great artist’s less consequential, and physically quite miniature, diversions­—chips from the workshop, as it were, rather than the more committed and seriously undertaken creations.

    The gallery statement dwells with considerable insistence upon Mr. Dove’s historical importance. The emphasis on this point constitutes

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  • “Thirty Sculptors”; Charles Gill and Robert McLean

    Berkeley Gallery

    This unusual cooperative gallery, backed in spirit by every artist in the Bay Area and in fact by twenty, has put together the finest sculpture show in northern Cali­fornia this year (i.e., before the massive all-California show at the Oakland Museum). A few names were omitted, most­ly for reasons of exigency, but the show is largely representative of the varied climate of action the sculptors in north­ern California have created. The show was set up by the artists who turned the considerable difficulty of mounting nearly seventy pieces in a gallery into a fait accompli.

    Although the exhibition

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  • “New Accessions 1962–1963”

    San Francisco Mu­seum of Art

    The San Francisco Museum is to be congratulated on its recent ag­gressiveness in the area of purchases for its permanent collection. A more indirect interest in the growth of the collection is shown by the formation of an organization bearing the august title, “The Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art.” Periodically, a selected group of works by favored artists is accumulated from art dealers and private collectors throughout the United States and then displayed in the mu­seum under the auspices of the Society. At this point, the rank and file of the society are “encouraged” to

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  • Serge Trubach, Jack Carrigg

    Triangle Gallery

    Trubach’s idiom, though generally, non-objective, defies easy categorization and eludes labels. He has developed, to a superlative degree, the potentialities of extremely minute and sensitive modulations of surface in conjunction with very subdued and yet scintillating inflections of color, which in turn generate his unique style of kaleidoscopic “spatial mobility” and “rhythmic organization.”

    In this showing he is exhibited at his highest powers in the following state­ments: “Oval” and “Winter Sun,” each a flexibly explorative, yet harmonious unity of thought and material, executed on wood panel;

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  • Patricia Oberhaus, Kay Armstrong, Harry Crotty, and Richard McLean

    Richmond Art Center

    Shades of Arthur B. Davies! Patricia Oberhaus exhibits a large number of small car­toons, elaborately framed and dated circa 1898. As a serious art effort they are negligible, but as humor, whimsy and cornball nostalgia they come off just fine.

    Harry Crotty is from the airy cubism (Herbert Ferber) generation of sculp­tors and carries on this style without much feeling, but with considerable craftsmanship and technical know-how. His cut-out shapes are assembled in an architectural fashion and remarkably balanced. The sharp points of the upper pieces are inserted into grooves, this balance being

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  • Robert Watson and Giancarlo Erizzo

    Maxwell Galleries

    Nothing is inherent­ly wrong with producing a series of variations on a theme: one need only mention Degas’ ballet dancers, Monet’s variations on the Rouen facade, or the inventive and exciting explorations of limited palette and restricted geometry so challenging to those facile in ab­stract idioms. Mr. Watson’s pretentious inanities, however, can hardly be termed “variations.” Two themes prevail in this showing: both are in the same “key,” and each is subjected to insignificantly variant repetitions-always in the same tonality, and in a tedious drone of spirit­less and pedestrian syntactical

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  • Group Print Exhibition: Claire Falkenstein, Dan Shapiro, and Dennis Beal

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    Falkenstein’s embossed prints depend on the same visual esthetic as does her sculpture, utilizing the relief surface with rich black and gold inks applied as decorative elements in the same man­ner molten brass and great hunks of glass are applied to linear metal bram­bles in her sculpture.

    Similarly Dan Shapiro’s metal intag­lio print technique is closely related to his assemblage manner. Unlike Falken­stein, his prints are inferior when com­pared with his constructions. In both mediums he relies on found objects to create ambiguous shapes on either dark or light voids. The prints become overly

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  • California College of Arts and Crafts Outdoor Art Fair

    Lyttoh Savings and Loan Association, Oakland

    A few mature artists who have exhibited publicly and are only nominally stu­dents are noticeable in what is, on the whole, an insipid student show. Dicren Injeyan has a comic sense of reality that enables him to make light of his morbid format. Injeyan mashes together parts of the body and a kind of circus sym­bolism to expose a startling scatologi­cal outlook. The localized image is af­fixed in a brightly colored field and bordered on the bottom by meaningless noise-words (e.g., “peeppeeppeepe”). His work is tunny, vicious and sardonic, but not depraved. His color range is still a bit weak and

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  • Art Holman and Ruth Asawa

    San Fran­cisco Museum

    The graphic work of Mr. Holman here exhibited, in which the pastel crayon predominates, falls into three chronologically sequential phases. The exhibits are untitled and may be identified only by dates of composition. The earliest phase (1959) may be desig­nated as the “color-fabric” phase, in which, but for a narrow margin, the en­tire rectangle of paper presents an ho­mogenous, hazy surface of some basic hue, through which, like fibers in a tweed swatch, miniscule threads and points of various colors are more or less uniformly distributed; the “lithoid” phase (1960–61) explores intersecting

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  • Martin Muller and Donald Sprinkling

    Crash Gallery

    Muller’s drawings are as trivial in subject matter as they are in size, being nothing more than slightly morbid plant-like forms done with an abstract expressionist flourish. The raw material for his collages has been cut from girlie magazines. Muller then converts these unfortunate young ladies into hermaphrodites. He also does a Bruce Conner every now and then.

    If Edward Kienholz, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell and Marisol were not practicing artists, it might be possible to take Sprinkling’s work as a serious comment on life via the junk world. Since these artists are definitely in existence,

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  • Hugh Curtis, Paul Pernish, Robert Brotherton, and Joe Clark

    Bolles Gallery

    Mr. Curtis and Mr. Per­nish are apparently sympathetic with one another’s methods and have, in fact, collaborated on one painting in this exhibit. The vernacular of their idioms aligns them with the so-called “Pop Art” movement. Mr. Curtis’ dominant theme is the motorcyclist. The typical mode of treatment consists in goggles, helmets, moustaches and prim­itive cartoon-physiognomies stated as black geometries against white, ellip­toid, “face-blank” cartouches which are defined as negative space, “cut,” as it were, from flat, massive “blocks” of vio­lent red or yellow on billboard-size can­vases.

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  • Howard Hack

    Harbor Gallery

    Hack’s sudden shift in attitude splits this one­-man show in half. On one wall are early works, small, low-keyed studies of Mex­ico. Their most interesting feature is Hack’s use of yellowish, dense space to give the figures an unearthly look and to flatten the canvas. The other wall contains Hack’s recent paintings, ostensibly studies of pavement and sewer-covers. However, his whole effect is destroyed by flashy, irrelevant paint­ing techniques. For instance, Hack tex­tures his canvases by scraping them down with a knife. This ploy has noth­ing to do with the subject at hand or with the main

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  • Lenn Kanenson

    Tides Bookstore, Sausalito

    Vashon Island, off Puget Sound has been stripped to its visual essentials in this lovely collection of watercolors by Kanenson. The topog­raphy is rugged with tough pines sur­viving somehow on sixty-degree slopes interlarded with giant boulders. Kanen­son has managed to capture the harsh enduring quality of the rocks, trees, wa­ter and sky with abrupt, intense water­color washes which manage to convey the feeling of place magnificently.

    James Monte

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  • Louis Gutierrez

    Lewis and Vidal

    Gutierrez is a young painter and col­lagist whose recent work is academically stifling and bears a strong similarity to Italian and Spanish formalism. His col­lages (which make up this show) are built out of corrugated cardboard squares stapled over each other and painted a single dull color, usually grey. As a final touch they are unpleasantly glazed with waterproof glue. To judge from the titles (e.g., “Light Available”) Gutierrez seems to be undertaking a study in luminosity, but the insipid character of the work belies this idea. Gutierrez has apparently become so entranced with the task of

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  • Group Show

    Dilexi Gallery

    A pot-­pourri show of the Dilexi regulars. One member of the group, Tony Delap, has abruptly altered his approach to col­lage from a funky accumulation of care­fully chosen refuse to a more pure emblematic style. The new examples shown depend on concentric cardboard rectangles or stars growing smaller as they recede into the back of each box. Delap then paints on the glass sheet cover to create in the viewer’s eye a relationship of the small painted area to the leading edge of the cardboard. Then the eye is irresistibly drawn to the center of the construction and out to the sheet of glass.

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  • Ted Odza and Mildred Lachman

    Quay Gallery

    A curious interaction of formal elements exists between Odza, a sculptor and Miss Lachman, a painter. Odza’s sculpture draws vitality from the open metal tradition which began with Gonzalez and continues in the work of David Smith. A recent graduate of U.C., Odza became involved in the tradition via his instructors, Sidney Gordin and Wilfrid Zogbaum, both familiar practi­tioners of the linear space-enclosing sculpture idiom. His single variant on a now well-known theme is his use of very heavy metal components giving his sculpture a certain massiveness usually lacking in welded sculpture.

    Miss

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  • Group Show

    Lanyon Gallery

    This show is a fill-in that is doubling as an introduction to some new artists the gallery represents. Mel Ramos is a Sacramento pop artist who is trying to cut in on Roy Lichtenstein’s corner of the comic-book market. Ramos offers juicy illustrations of Superman, Batman and Robin and other folk heroes. These are early works and perhaps the only objection that can be raised at this point is that it is dirty pool to steal Wayne Thiebaud’s idiomatic brush-stroke, although, under the peculiar sanctions of pop art it is legitimate to appropriate any subject-matter that lies at hand, even if it

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  • Group Show

    Art Unlimited

    Fear that a policy of artistic commitment will “narrow the market” is reflected in the average “unlimited” fare of many little pantapoloia of art, but never more de­pressingly than in the off-season clut­tering of walls with the dregs of the bins. One wearies of group shows that have no theme, that present neither a sequence in the evolution of a method nor a coherent essay in significantly juxtaposed parallels or contrasts, but that seem merely an attempt to display a “little of something” for every con­ceivable taste (including the most ba­nal) that might be found in a random sampling of

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  • Raymond A. Whyte

    Galerie de Tours

    This odious rubbish which purports to be “academic” in terms, here, of the “fin de siécle” studio “trompe-l’oeil,” and there, of the architectural motifs and perspectives of the Tuscan Manier­isti, can hardly be taken seriously enough to merit discussion. In addition to the copy-easel themes already men­tioned, there is a quasi-Flemish Interior, a quasi-Barbizon Pastorale, and some quasi-Pre-Raphaelite Damoiselles. If one wishes to affect this sort of Boston dowager Traditionalist pedantry, one should at least have the ability to draw well, which Mr. Whyte does not. One glance at a few calendar

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  • Theodore Polos and David McKay

    Legion of Honor

    Happily, Polos’ knowing use of subdued purples, pinks, reds and rich greys enriches the otherwise un­interesting surfaces of these recent works. The paintings seem fragmentary and in some indefinite state of con­fusion which might be resolved in more time spent on each canvas.

    McKay, a working commercial artist with the San Francisco Chronicle, paints his watercolors with bright translucent washes overlayed with slashing black lines. Each painting has a surface vir­tuosity which seems vacant and pur­poseless.

    James Monte

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  • Earl Pierce

    Quay Gallery

    Earl Pierce’s close association with Hans Hofmann as both student and colleague is painfully evident in this assortment of recent work. The paintings shown are perfect duplicates of Hofmann’s own work in the nineteen-forties.

    James Monte

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  • Edgar Dorsey Taylor

    Locke Gallery

    The Baja California landscape has in­spired a series of prints that recall the lonely beauty of that primitive strip of Mexico. The style Taylor works within conjures up memories of a number of Paris-based surrealists who were very active just after the Second World War.

    James Monte

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  • David Mark and Patti Bowler

    Artists Co-op

    Mark is a nineteen year old un­dergraduate at San Francisco State College. As student work, his exhibit of small landscapes and still fifes is very promising. He handles color well, has a good graphic sense and designs well. If he is interested in staying with paint­ing, he should experiment with unfa­miliar forms since he has obviously accomplished what he set out to do in the small works on display.

    A lesson in mishandling of materials can be learned from placing oneself in the middle of Miss Bowler’s exhibit and turning a full circle. Plastic resin and bright pigment are used to produce objects

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  • Group Show

    Pantechnicon

    Eleanor Dickinson’s three small, thinly painted figure studies showed a renewed inter­est in the space in front of and behind each figure, a quality usually lacking in her work. Gustavo Foppiani is repre­sented by a number of works included in his last exhibit at the gallery. Adjacent to Foppiani’s work are three tiny romantically painted landscapes by Geoffrey Lewis. Watercolors of crumbl­ing facades and romantic ruins done by Eugene Berman round out the summer offering.

    James Monte

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  • Ceramics by Gertrude and Otto Natzler

    San Francisco Museum

    A working team of husband and wife jointly pro­duced these sophisticated pots, pleas­antly shaped and with lots of vertical and vaguely aristocratic forms. The lines used by the Natzlers are neither new nor particularly ambitious. Their main concern seems to be the development of the most incredibly elegant glazes ever to reach the surface of a pot.

    James Monte

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  • Klaus Reim­ers

    Locke Gallery

    Reim­ers, a German artist exhibiting for the first time in the United States, uses a dark, schematic division of space with­in which he fits chunky men and women in paralyzed attitudes.

    The depiction of Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny is one of the finest cuts in the show, depending as it does on a massive cubism recalling the European poster styles of the Twenties.

    James Monte

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