San Francisco

“Delgado Exhibition”

San Francisco Art Institute

A curator from the Delgado Museum selected a San Francisco exhibition, mostly from the Art Bank, for hanging in New Orleans. The Institute has now hung the show in their own exhibition room. A considerable part of the show is Dada-Pop—a carnival noise with puns, jokes and satires after the long night of humorless searching to which the expressionists subjected themselves. Dada-Pop looks like an escape divertissement: bright, brash, and jazzy, but its meanings are mostly ironical, and it is—hate it or love it—of the very stuff of the real world, painted, pasted and tacked together impertinently.

Robert Gronendyke has made a Victorian souvenir of cloth flowers, and in another, has steamrollered trumpet and toy into a work of nostalgic whimsy. Charles Gill and Clayton Pinkerton reel out multiple images of the same face, in Gill’s case with overtones of Francis Bacon, and in Pinkerton’s, similarities to Warhol. Ben Langton has painted an angel flying through a cartoon cosmos. Wally Hedrick is represented by an alchemist’s chart and an alchemist’s nubile furnace. The new symmetrical abstraction is also present, but in the case of Tony DeLap’s very precisely made Four Dots, one feels his heart belongs to Dada; and if it doesn’t quite, De Forest’s certainly does, with his playground of sexy symbols.

Work in other idioms was also selected. Sidney Gordin’s two-dimensional sculptures in hammered brass and hammered steel have a rounded and growing quality. Tio Giambruni’s cast sculpture suggests, variously, underwater plant, and shattered Dedalus. David Simpson paints symmetrical abstractions, but with many stripes rather than the singular trade mark which has become so popular elsewhere.

Knute Stiles