San Francisco

Alex Gonzales, Jean Kalisch, Georgianna and Robert Else

Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento

Graphic paintings and colored drawings, landscapes in a poetic mood, sculpture in a variety of styles, and landscapes in Blue Rider colors. Gonzales is the start here. His paintings become, in part, graphics. Into a thick layer of oil paint, often white straight from the tube, he scratches, scrapes and scribes to form tactile textures of grass and other growing things. Derived from landscape, his recent works describe that small variety which, greatly extended, relieves the monotony of much of the world’s scenery. While his paintings are of uniform quality, his drawings present a spotty performance, where delightfully free expression too often slides into cuteness.

A mellow selection of colors is about the only Japanism left in the work of Jean Kalisch, a Japanese girl who married a G.I. Otherwise her paintings are pleasantly conceived views of cities and villages rendered in what is generally referred to as “the French School of painting.” They are natural candidates for furniture store art departments.

Georgianna Else has arrived at a basic figure type in her small, well crafted sculptures—an extremely thin, immature female which she uses, seemingly symbolically, in various compositions. She presents here two interpretations of the Lady Godiva theme. In one, an adolescent nude creature sits sidewise on a trim young filly of thoroughbred lines. In the other, a slightly heavier girl rides a slimmed down draft mare. Infertile bodies and impersonal attitudes are characteristic of both mares and girls. Mrs. Else has kept this bawdy subject “pure” enough for the youngest child.

Robert Else is an impressive painter whose colorful landscapes are reminiscent of that group of North European artists who were close enough to nature to feel its forces and respond to them with uninhibited emotions.

E. M. Polley