San Francisco

Johnny Friedlaender

Eric Locke Gallery

Johnny Friedlaender had his first one man show at the Locke Gal­lery several years ago, and has subse­quently exhibited internationally, and has organized his own school of en­graving in Paris. His present exhibition contains several of his recent etchings, his first lithograph, and a large selec­tion of work by his students from the Atelier Friedlaender.

Friedlaender’s own works are of de­signed and abstracted forms in an un­defined atmospheric space. There are accents of color, but the principal tones are textured greys. Each print contains a quantity of gravure methods all done with great skill and refinement. They are a tour de force of technique. Though his students are mostly lesser known, one recognizes Kumi Sugai’s character­istic symmetrical calligrams. The rest are a very international group from Latin America and the Orient as well as from Europe. They work in diverse directions, apparently having formed their attitudes about style independ­ently and adapting the techniques to their private uses. They share a pre­dilection for sepia and sienna red with their master, but in no case is there a student print which reflects his style––­a pleasant difference from the multi­tude of domineering teachers who sub­vert the egos of so many sensitive and suggestible students.

Hasan Kaptan, a Turkish student, uses aquatint for boid black and white ab­stract landscapes. Fidele Cary, English, bites the texture of cloth into the print and organizes ideograms of a sort reminiscent of Klee. Rene Carcan, Bel­gian, does a complex and dark abstrac­tion of cross-hatch lines. Ulf Trotzig, of Sweden, writes spring tension liries into Hartung-like diagrams of action. These students have mastered their media, but there is little evidence of anything genuinely original. The printmakers working in San Francisco such as Dan Shapiro, Dennis Beall, and Jeff Bowman, for example, are infinitely more experimental. And in Paris, too, one is convinced, printmakers are not confined to the known and overworked patterns. In fact, on Mr. Locke’s own work bench (but not in the exhibition) could be seen three etchings by Greg­ory Masurovsky, who lives and works in Paris. These are very delicate, myster­ious, and completely personal.

Knute Stiles