San Francisco

Gustave Alhadeff and Estelle Chaves

Maxwell Galleries

Alhadeff, a 23 year old African painter, exhibits wildly lush neo-impressionist landscapes and still lifes that are hybrids of Renoir and Van Gogh––if that can be imagined without being seen. His primary diffi­culty lies in re-creating illusionistic space in a way that doesn’t flog the viewer senseless by brilliantly hued forms that, instead of reposing in the background, are busy rattling, disturb­ing and clashing within areas of greater pictorial importance.

Miss Chaves continues, as in her last exhibit (at Pomeroy Galleries) to pur­sue and refine a painterly syntax that relates directly to Giorgio De Chirico and, through him, back to the primitive Italian muralists. The current exhibi­tion reveals a shrewdly adopted surreal­istic device, whereby the still life ob­jects, normally small in scale, such as transparent venetian glass, fruit and flowers are thrown completely out of scale by being painted quite large into the center foreground of what normally would be a marine landscape. The re­sultant effect is not unlike placing a harmless insect under a microscope and noting the horrifying change of scale.

––James Monte