San Francisco

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 rawness wholly acceptable. One hopes he can retain this feeling of spontaneity without sacrificing the re­spect for craftsmanship his mentors have instilled in him. It is in Odza’s cast pieces that one most senses his joy at seeing the shapes develop in answer to his half-formed ideas and re­spond with suggestions of their own.

Where the bronze shape becomes too ebullient he quiets its action with color or patina, otherwise it is free to unfold. One feels the subdued force beneath the magenta surface of Burgeoning or the black, unpolished skin of the bronze Homage to Lumumba, and the contained sorrow in the tiny Pieta. Odza responds as sensitively to his metal as it responds to him, and, like Paris, sees in it a working partner rath­er than just a material to be manipu­lated.

The Crown Point Intaglio Workshop was founded at Point Richmond in 1962, dedicated to etching as an art medium. Since its establishment, interest in printmaking has blossomed in the Bay Area, with the development of some extraordinary printmakers most of whom are too engrossed with technical discov­eries to give much thought to content. Like the budding linguist, they are still conjugating verbs. This exhibition con­tains three prints each from the better known of the group, some of whom were professional artists before they undertook printmaking. By carrying in­to the printer’s field their special paint­ing idioms, they have greatly expanded the possibilities. of the medium. At polarities of expression are Geoffrey Bowman’s complex creations suggestive of microscopic biology and Dennis Beall’s simple figure studies, where line falls as effortlessly from his scribe as a song from the throat of a lark. Bow­man is a colorist and a collagist, yet in this medium his single color print is not nearly as effective as either his black-and-white or his sepia-tone.

Others whose work is noteworthy are Kathan Brown, June Felter, Helen Ber­ger, Jeryl Parker, Sally Fox, Anne Jen­kins, (although her dappled surface is form-destroying), and Alfred Smith, whose paraphrasing of Fuseli’s Night­mare is rather startling.

E. M. Polley