San Francisco

Mel Henderson, Matt Glavin, Dennis Beal, Joan Brown

Art Unlimited

Mr. Henderson exhibits some old leather handbags mounted on weathered panels as wall plaques, and presents some allegedly sculptural essays consisting of worn leather jackets stretched over the tops of crudely carpentered stilt-like armatures in a manner inevitably suggesting the human head and torso. Here is merely an exposition of novel materials neither informed nor transformed by imaginative or intellectual processes. A more truly evocative transformation of the anthropomorphic contours of old clothing may be found in that eerie specter of rural twilight landscape, the farmyard scarecrow. With less self-consciousness and somewhat more spontaneity and humor Mr. Henderson might have achieved more compelling results along these lines.

Mr. Glavin is also preoccupied with novelty. In his statement entitled, Parquet, a painted disc of canvas is suspended in a circular hole of wider diameter cut out of a square canvas. The problem of suspending and stretching the suspended canvas disc involved introducing a precise close-knit eyelet and lacing penumbra, through which one perceives merely a dark space of ambiguous depth.

In other canvases, also elaborating the disc theme, patches and lines of stitching are employed as surface modularities. Obviously Mr. Glavin expended more patience, care and thought on mechanical problems than on esthetic ones.

Joan Brown continues work in the style for which she has become a familiar and heralded Bay Area figurative painter. Her outstanding offering in this small selection is entitled Bathing Girls. There is a humorous animation to her bevy of bug-eyed, gynomorphic schmoos ploshing around in swirls of sludgey impasto.

Palmer D. French