San Francisco

Robert Harvey

Gumps Gallery

Mr. Harvey's second exhibition at this gallery in less than a year is presumably justified by the fact that he has undergone a radical change of style and viewpoint since his show of last winter, which was preoccupied with figurative themes in a manner obviously influenced by Nathan Oliviera. Mr. Harvey's current exhibition is comprised of a large number of oil paintings, predominantly in sepia tones, collectively entitled “Family Album.” The statement in a gallery circular that these paintings reflect the “realism” of old album photographs is not altogether fair to Mr. Harvey, since these works have rather the reflective quality of remembered impressions of some long past perusal of faded snapshots from the 1920s. While there are occasional elements of sympathetic humor in these portrayals, the dominant tone is one of empathetic nostalgia. It is nonetheless true that such transformation of subject matter as is to be found here relies heavily on virtuosity of draftsmanship and somewhat precious manipulation of thin paint washes, while the basic conception and organization revives a conventional illustrative approach.

Palmer D. French