San Francisco

Bernice Bing and Margot Campbell

Berkeley Gallery

Bernice Bing, born in San Francisco’s Chinatown, has been living at the Mayacamas Vineyards this past year, and is just beginning to come to terms with the rugged landscape there. Her 12 paintings, selected from 20 recently completed, are something of a biography. The earliest works, though competently painted, are completely detached views of the expanse of valley from a mountain top—lifeless, without the foil of a figure. But in #12 and #13, done in October and November of 1963, Miss Bing begins to see the landscape as environment, and to enjoy it as such. She loses the dry, still-life-of-mountains approach and responds with genuine enthusiasm to the plastic movement of a rock-face, a sweep of hilltop, or an upland meadow. Her drawings, where preparatory studies for paintings, are usually superior to them.

Margot Campbell abstracts buildings and shorelines into moody cityscapes that, while colorful, are neither fully realized nor deeply moving. With saturated blues, hot reds, and a forceful brushstroke she compels an interior to swing with vitality, or the sweep of a beach to lie still. But her obvious potential is yet to be developed. Here she explores more than states.

––Elizabeth M. Polley