San Francisco

Jeremy Anderson

Dilexi Gallery

Anderson is currently exhibiting sculpture from the years 1950 through 1963, inclusively. The show amounts to a small (twelve works), well-chosen resume of the past thirteen years’ activity. In 1950, Anderson, along with a handful of other sculptors, were the only artists in this country exploring the possibilities of surrealist-inspired abstraction in sculptural terms. His untitled magnesite piece of 1950 with its visceral imagery combined with a bone-like surface treatment has the same doomed quality as some of Picasso’s drawings and paintings of the so-called “Bone” period. The piece representing 1952 is a real tour de force made of plaster over what is probably a steel armature. Its enigmatic space-enclosing properties are developed in three ways operating simultaneously at the bottom, middle and top of the work. The lowest level of the work is composed of a vertical box shape discreetly punctured on each side emanating all the mystery of an unopenable casket of exotic handiwork. From the top frame of the box, bars extend roughly the same length up as the height of the lower closed shape. The open work of the bars is capped by a deck upon which rest semaphoric-like shapes enclosed by visually implied walls. On the top squats a family of shapes reminiscent of Alberto Giacometti’s tablescapes executed in the thirties.

The work from 1954 onward is characterized by Anderson’s change to redwood as a medium along with harder woods such as teak, mahogany, birch and ironwood. Recent work has included the use of small cast bronze elements as adjuncts to the larger wood masses. The use of redwood, an extremely soft material, has possibly influenced Anderson’s shift from large essentially sculptural masses of the early work to more finicky and descriptive passages in the work completed between 1954 and the present. Both periods contain excellent pieces yet the grand simplicity of the earlier work remains longer in the observer’s memory.

James Monte