San Francisco

Sylvia Fein, Jean Charlot

Maxwell Galleries

Miss Fein’s medium is egg tempera employed in the manner of the ancients, using only the yolks of fresh eggs, ground pigments and distilled water. The preparation and application of this medium alone involves a painstaking control germane to the meticulous ways of thought and the disciplined, sensitive artisanship which characterize Miss Fein’s work. However, this is artisanship at the service of art, for Miss Fein commands the full range of her medium to evoke in crisp and lacy linearities silhouetted arboreal arabesques or to conjure the subtlest translucencies of atmosphere in ethereal sunsets and luminous nocturnal skies. In statements such as Burn Off at Martinez one is reminded of some of the miniature fantasies of Hieronymus Bosch, while elsewhere among the exhibits one finds affinities with William Blake, with Chinese landscapes or with Persian miniatures. While European craft tradition as well as diverse areas of European and Oriental stylistic mannerism have been heavily drawn upon, they are here transformed by an individual lyric sensibility of a singularly high order.

The co-featured exhibition of paintings by Jean Chariot fails. Here is Rivera diluted and transferred to canvas in a stereotyped decorative manner. Even allowing for these exhibits being easel transcriptions of essentially mural thinking, none rise above the trivial commercialism of tropical and Central American motifs for cafeteria walls.

Palmer D. French