San Francisco

Richard Van Buren and “G.O.P. Show”

Dilexi Gallery

These are sculp­tural paintings. Canvas has been stretched over biomorphic shaped plywood forms, often stuffed to add con­vexity. Sometimes a part will be as flat as a normal painting; all are painted bright colors of the sort one might point out to a child: “that is red, this is purple, this green . . .” Indeed, they suggest huge toy Mickey Mouse germs thrusting out psuedopodes into which they may flow. One, entitled Fool has a sort of goose characteristic but is still vaguely amoeboid. Much of the current metamorphosis from painting to sculpture, or vice-versa, stands on the floor or a pedestal, but these reach or droop, and are mostly low relief wall pieces. Only one was made in­tentionally as a floor piece, and it is also fairly low relief, a sort of dump, or, to move from the micro- to the macro-organic image, may suggest the droppings of a marshmallow dinosaur. All toy makers should take a long look at these: they maybe the proto­types for tomorrow's abstract rag dolls, or pneumatic beach and pool things.

The Dilexi's more Pop oriented artists were invited to submit works of topical moment to be exhibited at the time of the Republican convention in San Francisco. Jeremy Anderson, a sculptor who does not usually indulge in such summertime pleasantries, has put together a sculpture which beats the Pop artists at their own game. His characteristic redwood foundation is populated with a metal elephant in sev­eral positions; on its back, bloated and with cigar-like trunk erect; on its back, but concave, suggesting a cigar tray; on high legs with long trunk, making it a several stilted thing; with bugle-­ended trunk; dead and decayed in a low open grave. John Wesley painted a duo called TR I & II picturing Theodore Roosevelt with mouth con­cealed by moustache in I and the same picture but with toothy grin in II. H. C. Westermann's cartoons are rashly mad. Andy Warhol's banner advertises Pat Nixon for the office of first lady. The show was small, because the gallery's stable proved more apathetic about the whole thing than expected.

––Knute Stiles