San Francisco

Holland/ “The New Generation”

San Francisco Museum of Art

This is an impressive exhibition of 55 works by 11 contemporary Dutch artists, assembled by Dr. W. J. H. B. Sandberg at the instigation of the Netherlands Ministry of Education Arts and Sciences, and sponsored on its American tour by the Smithsonian Institution.

Jaap Wagemaker essays collage paintings of extraordinary sensitivity. Ridged crater-like depressions in pumice-colored granular surfaces, covering an entire panel or emerging, in relief, from a black ground, suggest, in form and texture, telescopic lunarscapes. The eldest of the eleven exhibitors is Gerrit Benner (b. 1897). In purely abstract statements such as Blue Crosses (1961) Mr. Benner is unpersuasive, but his The Mill (1962) is a warm and evocative landscape employing methods of color building that seem derived from Cézanne. Kees van Bohemen expounds refined abstractions in somber tonalities and delicate inflections of surface. In organization Mr. van Bohemen’s work has an affinity with Japanese Sumi interpretations of rugged winter landscape. Ger Letaster’s idiom, palette and impastos are reminiscent of Appel, while Lucebert conjures a bestiary whose lineage can be traced to the canvases of Arshile Gorky.

While the remaining exhibitors are little known in America, their styles are fraught with echoes of the New York Abstract Expressionism of the last decade.

Palmer D. French