reviews

  • 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

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  • Bruce Conner

    San Francisco Art in­stitute

    The Neallie Sullivan award of $1000 to a working artist has been awarded this year to Bruce Conner, and the Institute has hung an exhibition of his collages, paintings and drawings to celebrate the event. (This prize is an annual bequest from the estate of the late San Francisco sculptress, Adeline Kent, and is not a grant for some de­fined project, nor the result of some competition, but is awarded without strings to a deserving artist; an admir­able method of bestowing prizes which deserves to be imitated by all prize committees.) Bruce Conner is one of the luminaries of what might be called

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  • Gerd Stern

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    There has not been such a chattering of motors, clanking of gears, winking of lights, and buzzing of cir­cuits at the San Francisco Museum since Charles Mattox’s constructions were all but demolished by gleeful children. But the resemblance ends with the noise. Mattox’s work remained well within a tradition of constructivist art, distilling a positive, cheerful es­thetic from a technology that no one really feels very positive about. Stern has his roots in Dada: the senselessly blinking light is a manifestation of the Absurd. Mattox derives his elegance and his assurance from an abstracted idea

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  • Eugene Dela­croix

    Achenbach Foun­dation for Graphic Arts

    Two small oil paintings, 22 watercolors and drawings, and 31 prints in an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of Delacroix’s death (1798–1863), assembled en­tirely from West Coast collections. These are small works, some of which signi­ficantly point up the essential character of Delacroix’s art. In them is that quality of intimacy, spirituality, freedom of line and movement of mass which was often frozen by inhibitions in his grand works, where the battle of Romanticism vs. Classicism is generally so apparent, and where the shadow of Gericault some­times obscures his own not

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  • Fred Reichman

    Rose Rabow Gallery

    Fred Reichman’s startled fawn, flying squirrel, crabs, cranes, crows, stone and branch, drawn with monumental sim­plicity, sparsely disposed across softly painted white canvases decorate the comfortable chambers of Mrs. Rabow’s gallery. Though harmonizing dispersed details on an empty field is clearly part of the Far Eastern tradition in painting, these pictures are more specifically re­lated to the. Japanese short poem, the Haiku, which formulates the universal in split second actuality: no pedantic study of creature parts, but its act or gesture. And not the whole environment, but only the

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  • Bill Ris­don

    Batman Gallery

    Mr. Ris­don is young, energetic, versatile and innovative. His present exhibition en­compasses paintings, sculptural assem­blages and a photo-kaleidoscopic de­vice for the production of “mobile ab­stractions.” Mr. Risdon has composed electronic music which is played in the gallery at low volume, so as first to be heard at a subliminal level and only gradually to impinge upon the threshold of consciousness as one surveys the visual exhibits.

    In not all of the directions in which Mr. Risdon ploys his experimental ex­uberance is he equally perceptive and disciplined. It is in his electronic music

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  • “Invitational”

    Berkeley Gallery

    An un­usually powerful group show. The ex­hibit includes three to five works from each painter, emphasizing quite plainly the direction pursued by the individual artists. Three of the four artists, except­ing the recent painting of James Kelly, have been seen within the past year perhaps too often in faculty group ex­hibits, juried exhibits, and large invi­tational exhibitions. It is notorious that single examples of an artist’s work be­come hopelessly lost or meaningless in most large group shows. One antidote, as shown here, is more works of fewer artists. Sometimes, however, a single well-chosen

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  • Jane Wilson

    Gump’s Gallery

    Jane Wilson, a well-known New York artist, is represented by a show of recently done, and extremely evocative, landscape paintings. The quality of the ex­hibit is expressed perfectly in these lines from Proust: “How often during our walks have not my friends known me to halt like this at the turning off of an avenue, or beside a clump of trees, and ask them to leave me alone for a minute. Nothing came of it. I shut my eyes and made my mind a blank to recruit fresh energies for my pursuit of the past, then suddenly re-opened them, all in an attempt to see those same trees as if for the first

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  • Art Grant, Mel Henderson, and Max Alfert

    Oakland Museum

    These three sculptors are linked together through their efforts to project characteristics of human and animal life into their material.

    Max Alfert turns small bits of drift­wood and beautiful stones into religious themes and symbolic situations (Man on a Raft). The natural beauty of his materials is distracting and Alfert intensifies their seductive prettiness by polishing and oiling them. This would probably be less damning were his sub­ject matter not laying claim to consid­erable moral solemnity.

    Mel Henderson’s sculpture has waded off into a sea of banality. He takes an item, such as a pigskin

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  • Roy De Forest

    Dilexi Gallery

    De Forest’s paintings and collages repre­sent graphs and charts of activities and destinations not accessible to the con­scious mind. His abstract surrealism is handled with a wit and intellectual­ism more typical of French than Amer­ican painting. However, in the forty­-five years that surrealism has been common usage it has deteriorated into a tedious international cliché, noted for its preciousness, overworked construc­tion and false air of mystery. Some of de Forest’s earlier paintings and many of the collages (bordered by carved wooden beasts and phalli) suffer from these flaws of excessive

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  • Agustin Airola

    Pomeroy Galleries

    Airola’s is a strange art, part craft, part pictograph, part painting. He is a Yaqui Indian, born in Topolobambo, Mexico, who has lived in Barcelona, Spain, for the past 15 years. As a youth, he studied under artists in Finland, Holland, Rome and Madrid, but none of these contacts has erased the instinctive remembrance of Aztec carvings and Toltec murals from his work, or subdued the inherited impulses and cultural experience which brought these carvings and murals about.

    For he does not depend upon Indian motifs, but reasserts his heritage in a refinement that borders on dream stuff. His animals

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  • Raymond Howell

    Galerie de Tours

    Raymond Howell has developed a new method of painting in low relief using gauze fabrics, plastics and paint. The subject matter is sombre, tragic or sometimes sinister: death heads, a wraith in golden helmet with a wooden sword collaged into the picture, a whole charnel house of grotesque nudes; even one of the apparently more innocent pictures, Two Sisters, little girls in ballet costumes, has a mask quality with dark holes for eyes. His Cock Fight is not between roosters as we know them, but huge primeval fowl; Shopping News has a newspaper col­lage background for manikins with masklike heads

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  • “Five Sculptors”

    Horse’s Mouth

    Five young sculptors have built a foundry in San Jose and are casting their work together. It is only natural that they should pick up from each other and Richard Mills and Stephen Daly are often on the receiving end of Holt Mur­ray’s ideas. Richard Mills’ bony figures are more his own.

    Holt Murray casts an elaborate Mor­ris Broderson–Henry Moore image con­taining more design than feeling. This ornate, somewhat chi-chi image is the result of Murray’s considerable experience as a jeweler. Peter Tenau’s sculp­ture is usually a kind of lump-form, the rotting-flesh syndrome so easily achieved with

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  • “From the Berkeley Gallery”

    Mills College

    With their own gallery occupied by an invitational, the members of the Berkeley Gallery were still able to hold a group show in the spacious quarters at Mills. For most of the artists it was a waste of time, since they have all shown extensively in the past year, thanks to their cooperative, and it does them no good to have every wet brush­stroke held up for public scrutiny.

    The work of Boyd Allen, Mel Moss, Robert McClean and Mel Henderson demonstrates massive changes in their orientations. Robert McClean exhibited another witty all-wood dreamship that strongly resembles Jeremy Anderson’s work,

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  • John Roeder

    Walnut Creek Library

    The Civic Arts Commission in Walnut Creek, trying to stir up public interest in local artists, has taken to setting up quality exhibitions in its library. On loan from the Richmond Art Center are several sculptures by John Roeder, one of the few truly great primitives in America. His art is informed by religious passion and a deep, poignant feeling for humanity. Practically blind and in the twilight of his life, Roeder still must wait for the widespread public recogni­tion he so patently deserves.

    Joanna C. Maglott

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  • Ted Odza and Crown Point Workshop

    Richmond Art Center

    Odza’s sculpture is, at this point, an agreeable and vital amalgamation of the influences of his three recent University of California instructors, Harold Paris, Wilfrid Zog­baum, and Sidney Gordin. His welded steel sculptures have the linear, space­enclosing forms of Zogbaum and the nicely poised point balance of Gordin, although they lack the refinement of the thoughtfuIly constructed works of either of these men. Odza has not yet reached full maturity, nor has he de­veloped a completely individual philos­ophy. But there is about his work the enthusiasm of first happy vision that makes its

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  • David Bennett and Durthen Kampman

    Labaudt Gallery

    Two youthful art­ists, David Bennett, 26 year old tapes­try maker, and Durthen Kampman, 21, sculptress, exhibit their recent work in a joint show. Mr. Bennett worked and studied at the looms of Aubusson, tra­ditional tapestry center of France. Miss Kampman is the daughter of an artistic German family. Both are skilled journey­men in their respective crafts, and the birds and beasts of cloth and clay share the same rooms happily. Bennett’s most ambitious hangings are Andromeda Nebula, a black and white vortex of stars with vibrant after-images playing across the black passages, and an Ocean of

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  • Roberto Montenegro, Jesus Serna Maytorena, William Lenoir

    Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento

    Paint­ings by two prominent Mexican artists, watercolors of Old Sacramento, and a group show from the Nevada City Art Association.

    Montenegro is one of the founders of the modern school of painting in Mex­ico, along with Diego Rivera and, later, Rufino Tamayo, his onetime helper in mural painting. He has been both teach­er and editor in his campaign to free Mexican artists from the colonial past, and in doing so, has himself been caught in the trap of history. This show has just returned from Tokyo. In it one finds a paradoxical blend of archeologi­cal remains and living studies of to­day’s

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  • Mason Welles

    Quay Gallery

    Welles, better known as a collector and con­noisseur than as a painter (Mr. Welles was responsible for the Ben Heller col­lection being shown at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor recently), is exhibiting his paintings as a group for the first time. The work relates to the color ambiences in which a number of East Coast artists in both New York and Washington are involved. Welles’ large brushed images are usually di­vided by softly painted stripes floating over both the image and the thinly painted ground. The larger works suffer from a certain lack of color resonance that can be

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  • Ruth Dicker, Group Show

    Art Un­limited

    Mixed media landscapes, and sculptures and prints by West Coast artists are shown in this little down­stairs gallery which has recently ex­panded to include a penthouse sculp­ture garden.

    Miss Dicker is an expert craftsman and a diligent researcher, more inter­ested at the moment in textural effects than in subject matter. Using landscape as a point of departure, she abstracts such popular themes as forest glades and lonely waterfronts, shrouding them in luminous pearly grays and eerie night purples. In open light and full color, her works become decorative and harsh. Her strongest point at the

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  • June Felter

    Harbor Gallery

    June Felter, an active member of the San Francisco Women’s Artist Association, and well-known printmaker, is exhibiting watercolor and oil paintings supple­mented by a folio of prints and draw­ings. She deals with a variety of subjects including landscapes peopled and not, figures in various activities, and a number of nudes. Her approach to subject matter is direct and free from bom­bast. Generally the more modest works are the most successful, including a series of etchings and watercolors de­picting what appears to be the same model in various interior poses. Miss Felter’s major artillery is

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  • Frederick O’Hara

    Original Prints Gallery

    This veteran graphicist’s recent works evince little more than an aca­demic preoccupation with technical pre­cocity in the refined manipulation of complex, experimental printmaking processes. As part of the exhibition one is deluged with brochures elaborately ex­plaining the various multiple-relay transfers, novel emulsions, and chemi­cal washes that have been employed to produce certain effects––effects, it might be observed, that could have been produced as persuasively and more simply in other media. In contrast­ing these exhibits with O’Hara’s evoca­tive color woodcut Garden of Folly (circa

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  • Robert Gilberg

    Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, Sacramento

    In preparing this show, Gilberg must have cut up every oil painting, drawing, print, watercolor and necktie he has, and rearranged them into some forty small assembl­ages, each an exhibition within itself. Which could be fun, or, as in these carefully prepared works, exceedingly tedious.

    The linear purity of the bits of draw­ings and prints isolates them from the total pattern in the better ones, and would seem to indicate that Gilberg is particularly gifted in this field—and that his debt to Picasso is not incon­siderable. One wonders how much the croppings have improved them. They are crisp,

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  • Mona Beaumont

    Karamanduca

    In trifling mixed media “graphics” of which the topical ttieme is the circus, Miss Beaumont attempts some quasi-abstract grotesquerie and caricature as well as a few essays in child-art primitivism, employing mannerisms patently deriva­tive of Picasso in these veins. Distin­guished influence notwithstanding, one finds here neither spiritedly casual so­phistication on the one hand, nor viva­cious naïveté on the other, but merely listless doodlings that smack rather uniformly of a jaded and varicose ennui.

    Palmer D. French

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  • Group Show

    Peacock Gallery

    Work by six exhibitors is randomly inter­spersed and scattered throughout a labyrinthine maze of dimly lit, over­furnished rooms, dark narrow corridors and cluttered alcoves. A pretentious gallery brochure is prefaced with some silly rhapsodic prose by Mr. Robin Blaser concerning Tom Field’s painting Genji. Rather curiously, some pains were apparently taken to hang this painting, in poor lighting, near the top of a fifteen foot wall—over the kitchen sink! None of the few more visible paintings indicate that any of the art­ists represented rise above the level of a stale and derivative mediocrity

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  • Richard Sorby

    Parks Gallery, San Jose

    Richard Sorby paints landscapes in pale earth colors. He uses a knife to splinter the colors into little triangular pats of paint.

    Richard Sorby

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  • Geoffrey Bowman

    Lanyon Gallery

    Geoffrey Bowman applies torn paper, paint and shimmery materials to canvas in an effort that is at least praiseworthy for the patience it requires. Sometimes he attaches sequins––all carefully laid out in a pattern. Bowman’s one idea is to paint a circle with a hole in the middle and to put a dot of paint, a sequin or a tiny scrap of tissue in the hole. Hundreds of these doughnuts, some small, some very large, are intend­ed to represent a microcosmos. Since fetishism is no substitute for sensitivity, these vividly colored paintings fail to achieve the intimate statement that this sort of surrealism

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  • Group Show

    Gallery House, Menlo Park

    This gallery is a cooperative which is currently exhibiting the work of sev­eral members. Kai Mel de Fontenay shows a large yellow painting in which a few biomorphic forms have been centered. Yuri Mason takes Rothko’s format and puts a bright, narrow band across its middle, turning it into a landscape. Stephen Daly offers a col­lage-painting in black and white that contains mostly round shapes. Also shown are other abstract paintings, a few wood carvings and many ceramics.

    Joanna C. Maglott

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  • William Bowman and “Arts of Southern California VII”

    Stanford Art Gal­lery

    William Bowman (no relation to Geoffrey) makes wall reliefs from nails, pins, string and presentable-looking refuse, such as cigar bands. The nails, or other material are clustered to form a projected surface and are painted in garish, but uninteresting color combina­tions, such as orange and purple. In a note to the exhibition Bowman states that he is trying a new approach to three-dimensional painting.

    No one is going to be taken in by the presumptuous title of this exhibit—­“Arts of Southern California VII.” Jack Zajac, Robert Cremean and John Mason are the only sculptors in the show who are

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  • “Three Artists”

    Peninsula Gallery

    Carol Quin’s watercolors are of figures, outlined in black with an underpaint­ing of bright colors showing through. Harold Booth makes serigraphs of landscapes and Chris Borggren assembles large mosaic plaques with a Mexi­can flavor.

    Joanna C. Maglott

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  • Carl Schwoon

    Ed Lesser Gallery

    Mr. Schwoon, a graduate of the Weimar Bauhaus, studied with Klee and Kan­dinsky. His work reflects the influence of both these strong personalities thir­ty-two years later. Schwoon combines the color lyricism inherent in most of Klee’s work with the odd, streamlined form found in Kandinsky’s work of the 20’s and 30’s. There is both strength of design and a bold lyricism that makes Mr. Schwoon’s exhibit the finest seen at this gallery to date.

    James Monte

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  • Group Show

    Modern Masters

    This continuous group exhibition consists of landscapes and portraits by various art­ists, mostly done in a realistic style that pays great attention to detail and finish.

    Joanna C. Maglott

     

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