San Francisco

David Dangelo, Darrell Forney

Artists Cooperative Gallery

Sacramento lies at the gateway of the Sierra Nevada mining country, where gold dredges have cut into hills exposing root patterns, rock pockets and subsoil structure. Thus physiography plays a strong part in the art expression there, with Mickey Kane, Gene Viacrucis and Don Reich all having had a go at studying out the exploratory line of growing roots, the insistent power of swelling bulbs and the cold, hard resistance of rocks—described with compressed circles, variable line and eloquent space.

Dangelo continues this study, extending it by indicating the vastness of the landscape which exerts pressure on underlying gravel and boulders, and creates surface-scouring wind currents. He rests a narrow band of landscape on a high ground-line, beneath which one sees the substructure, only partly particularized, and is reminded of those earth-filled glass boxes revealing the subterranean life of ants or the two-way growth of specially nurtured grasses. In this manner he suggests landscape as a living environment, constantly changing, rather than just a selected stretch of scenery. Thinly brushed clay colors (ochres, umbers, siennas) intensify this thesis. Line is used sparingly to describe areas, direct attention, or imply isothermic bands of wind. Dangelo has kept his show small and select.

Forney’s landscapes are so-so, apparently offered as potboilers. His real forte is his series of paintings dealing with the exotic gadgetry of gypsy fortune-tellers. These are richly colored, flat patterned abstractions, done in a style well suited to the rigidly traditional rites of the crystal ball gazer.

E. M. Polley