San Francisco

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 not totally unknown, and Mason is the only sculptor who is not rankly commercial. Zajac shows a staked goat tripping over its testicles and Cremean tries to capture the look of decaying flesh in a laminated wood figure whose elongated form strongly resembles that of Raphael Sayer’s dancers. If John Mason exhibits much sculpture as poor as the piece in this show, he will ruin his reputation. Stanford University is free to assemble whatever art it wishes; hopefully, it will never wish to display anything quite so deplorable again.

Joanna C. Maglott