San Francisco

Ralph Du Casse

Bolles Gallery

Mr. Du Casse exhibits nine canvases with titles that are the names of familiar animals. This barely recognizable zoo is transparently an affected attempt to combine esoteric humor with graphic subtlety in contrived flamboyance and oblique references. Mr. Du Casse likes slick textures, balanced syntactical rhythms and flatly applied lush color. The way in which two paintings entitled Raindeer and Baby Deer, decoratively elaborate stylized antler shapes is embarrassingly trite. In fact, all of these paintings remind one of the sort of thing commonly seen on chic ceramic tiles. In addition to the zoo there is a painting entitled Red Dash (12'' x 16'') which is literally that—a red oblong stroke on a blue ground. This perhaps also is supposed to be, in some unfathomable way, at once funny and profound, or a supercilious leg pull. There is also a series of little drawings: studies of the female nude rendered in various ways—with shading, in a continuous line, as negative space in two color gouache, etc. Presumably this trivial little tour de force is intended as a demonstration of technical versatility, for Mr. Du Casse clearly wants us all to see that he can be as clever, witty and amusing as the patter in an Oscar Wilde drawingroom farce.

Palmer D. French