San Francisco

Expanded Group Show

Frederic Hobbs Gallery

Paintings and sculpture by Hobbs’ enlarged group of artists, including Bailey, Block, Bowden, Briggs, Clutten, Courtois, Grant, Gonzales, Gutierrez, Hill, Hobbs, Kishi, Monte, Romano, Mcchesney, Louis and Lundy Siegriest, Saccaro and Safford.

Hobbs has moved from his cramped quarters on Union Street to this more spacious location which incorporates the gallery, studios, classrooms, sculpture yard, frame shop and paint center into the new San Francisco Art Center which opened September 16. In this combination the participants in the Center’s operation hope to solve the problems of “spacious quarters, centralized location and erratic landlords who raise rentals after an area has been upgraded by the proximity of culturally oriented activities.”

All of the artists of the Hobbs group have had wide exhibition experience, which does not guarantee they will always come up with outstanding works, but does give some assurance that they will rarely come up with a real “clinker.” They have presented here a good solid group show, with the accent on tactile textures, rich earthy colors and nonfigurative expression.

Each exhibitor has presented at least two works, and among them one notes some recent changes of direction: John Saccaro’s latest canvas, “Amour Propre,” while large as usual, is a more contained composition than he generally shows. The paint surface is less agitated, and the colors depend upon a rich greyed green of low vibrancy.

Lundy Siegriest has enlivened his palette with the addition of dusty yellows and oranges, which glow brightly against the big chunks of tarry black he has recently been spading onto his canvases. His heaviest texturing is usually at the top of these recent pictures, suggesting speed and transience. At the moment, that is Lundy Siegriest’s forte: the tension created between the fixed and the fleeting.

Robert McChesney now sprays the sandy surface he exploited so long in his “Arena” series a matte black, leaving drifts of brilliant undercolor exposed. A springy mesh of upholsterer’s “horse hair” forms a lacy texture over parts of the painting—suggesting things to do with mantillas, and mystery. (But heaven help the restorer who works on these at some future date.) James Monte comes close to the figure in a mixed-media canvas of two monolithic shapes confronting each other in a communicative position.

In a group show it is hard to say definitely which way the artists are turning. But Hobbs has selected this one for unity, and despite the Center’s unfinished condition, has hung it to advantage.

E. M. Polley