reviews

  • “Americans 1963”

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    This is another in a con­tinuing series of group exhibits begun in 1929 which, in the ensuing years, the modern art public had come to look upon as esthetic guideposts in the confusing and contradictory Land of Oz of contemporary painting and sculpture. The assumption has been that if an artist is invited to exhibit in one of these shows he must certainly be, in relation to his peers, of primary significance. These assumptions are not baseless; in fact, the Modern had circulated, between the years 1951 and 1956, three exhibits that for all prac­tical purposes documented the pio­neers of the

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  • “Sculpture for São Paulo”

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    The Walker Art Center of Minneapolis was charged with the task of selecting sculpture to represent the United States in the São Paulo Bienniel. The collection traveled to the San Francisco Museum.

    A special closet was constructed to house David Weinrib’s plastic, wood and metal spatial sculpture which, is bolted and screwed into elbowing pro­jections and platforms. These, and the wood sculpture of George Sugarman, were painted bright colors, Weinrib’s color being like farm machinery, Sugar­man’s rather chemical. Sugarman’s wood pieces are assembled from many parts of several sorts: carved organic

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  • Walter Kuhlman

    California Palace of the Legion of Honor

    Kuhlman was an influential artist and teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute until four years ago, when he accepted a teach­ing post in New Mexico, where he re­mained until recently. His close asso­ciation with the Art Institute as both student and teacher shows strongly in his paintings, and in his conceptual approach to painting.

    If his friend and colleague, Frank Lobdell, can be said to grow from the apocalyptic, demonic roots of Northern European Expressionism, then Kuhl­man could be said to inhabit the more lyrical, nature-oriented branches of the same tree. The brooding lyricism of

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  • “Summer Exhibits”

    Berkeley Gallery

    This is perhaps the most significant of recently organized galleries, primarily devoted to the younger group of Bay Area painters and sculptors. Among the painters exhibited here during June and July were Boyd Allen, Charles E. Gill and Patrick Tidd. Mr. Allen’s vib­rant canvases amply demonstrate that there are still challenging possibilities of invention and individuality of style in Abstract Expressionism, while Mr. Gill and Mr. Tidd are well into the frontiers of post-abstract expressionist and post-new imagist explorations. Mr. Gill’s canvases are somber and reflec­tive, amalgamating elements

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  • 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,

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  • Taiji Kiyokawa

    Hobbs Gallery

    Mr. Kiyokawa is a recent arrival in the United States. In San Francisco, he shares a studio with Masatoyo Kishi, a relationship which it would be im­possible to deduce from the works themselves. Kiyokawa applies thin paints sparingly, with a minimum of agitation and activity on the canvas. The paintings are quiet, and landscape references abound; an atmospheric quality pervades the best works with a strong twilight mood. When the paint­ings do not succeed, it is almost al­ways because Kiyokawa settles for less than he should. In his attempt to convey emotion with a minimum of means he runs the

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  • “Summer Exhibits”

    Maxwell Galleries

    The past season has been a succession of undistinguished one-man shows at this gallery; Frank Kleinholz whose work, strongly influenced by Max Beckmann, is a late survival of the social com­mentary expressionism of the WPA era; Alba Heywood who essays cloyingly sentimental idyllic landscapes (with male nudes) and interior scenes of old rustic houses; and, finally, Robert Wat­son whose commercially successful banalities are about on a par with the work of Walter Keane. Of redeeming merit. however, have been Mr. Maxwell’s steadily solid and distinguished dealers’ exhibitions, which, among other

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  • Bob Branaman

    Batman Gallery

    The paintings that Branaman has painted at Big Sur in the past year or so contain many faces, and many of these are split like a half moon over a full moon, or a side view over a front face, both sharing the same eyes, nose and mouth, perhaps expressing male and female unity, or perhaps symbolizing the splitting of personality. The draw­ing is primitive, a fact which was not so apparent in earlier, expressionist­ oriented technique. The new work is toward a symmetrical ordering of things, but extremely complicated and crowded in contrast to the stark simplicity usually associated with recent

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  • Nancy Clark

    Quay Gallery

    Mrs. Clark exhibits a dozen abstract variations on a vaguely figurative theme with some­what erotic overtones, entitled Leyen­das. With the gradual progression re­miniscent of cinematic film frames, a pair of formal motifs (one dark and shadowy, one in tentative flesh tones) is slowly processed from cool tonalities and syntactical placidity to a high-keyed palette and a frenzy of compositional turbulence. Technically the work is un­even in quality from canvas to canvas. Of primary interest, however, is the evolving sequence as such, and probably the artist would agree that none of these paintings,

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  • “Summer Exhibits”

    Ray Lewis

    The season’s outstanding show at this in­timate graphics gallery was an unusual array of prints from William Blake’s illustrations to Dante’s Inferno and the Book of Job. Of the two most famous sets of illustrations to Dante’s theo­logical epic, Dore’s and Blake’s, Blake’s tends more to a mystical austerity and mannerism (that is occasionally mere­ly barren) while Dore’s interpretations are more expressionistic and dramatic­ally macabre in conjuring the horren­dous abysses and grotesque tortures of purgatory and the inferno. It is in the Book of Job that Blake displays his highest powers of

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  • “Summer Exhibits”

    Galerie de Tours

    Marjorie Allen, who exhibited at this gallery in early June, is a native of Massachusetts and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She conjures nebulous abstractions in gossamer colors with oblique and spec­tral figurative references. Her works abound in idyllic prettiness suffused with overtones of euphoric mystical surrealism. Later in the season Chap­man Kelley exhibited some delicately contrived views of rotting piers along the Provincetown waterfront executed in a misty neo-Oriental manner reminis­cent of Whistler’s Nocturnes. Some nude studies by Mr. Kelley amply demonstrate

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