reviews

  • Arts of San Francisco, Part II

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    The emblematic, color-conscious direction in painting as practiced in San Francisco is the subject of this part of a series organized by Mr. John Humphries, Curator of the Museum. The exhibition makes it clear that there is a relationship to the genre's internationally developed characteristics, but, also, that there is a local specific practiced here which is the property of several of these artists. Whom one should credit with the origin of this tendency is unclear. This difference manifests itself in the use of painterly brushwork, painterly drawing, and modeled areas of paint. (Clement

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  • Print-Sculpture Annual

    The Richmond Art Center

    The sculpture in this show is by far more impressive than the print-making, which seems to be heading in a direction given impetus by Llyn Foulkes in his Oakland exhibition last February: multiple images, a concern with the look of the photo both positive and negative, and undertones of the turn of the century.

    Print award winner, Robert Bechtle, in his lithograph “Smilin' Through” reverses the rainbow and the expression of the empty woman triple image who looks as if her morning cup of coffee didn't really serve to take the grey out. A divided image and an interest in a photo-negative look is

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  • The Immortal Eight

    Crocker Art Gallery

    43 paintings by members of the Ashcan School. This major exhibition of works by the still controversial Eight, assembled and circulated by the Museum of Modern Art, is beginning its tour at a historic old museum which was once the mansion of E. B. Crocker and as such the center of Northern California's social and cultural life. It seems a fitting place for the take-off. The Eight are wholly in character with the Sacramento of their time—they possess the same lusty virility, combining clumsy gaucherie with bravura and, at times, a touch of greatness which probably would have met a more sympathetic

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  • Chinese Paintings

    De Young Museum

    In surveying the ancient art works of a remote culture it is sometimes difficult for the uninitiated to “see the trees for the forest.” Individual differences of style and departures from traditional norms are easily obscured by that long historical perspective which tends to emphasize the stylistic and esthetic assumptions which all the artists of a given culture held in common and to minimize differences which, albeit within the common frame of reference, must in their time have seemed radical. The contrasts here might have been brought into sharper focus for us had this selection from the R.

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  • Jack Tworkov

    San Francisco Museum of Art

    The retrospective of Tworkov's mature style is about midway in its travels to six American museums. The exhibition, originally shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, was condensed for the tour, but it is still a large show with excellent examples of all the changes of Tworkov's work in the last fifteen years. Prior to '49 he was painting very abstract still-lifes, but they are not included, nor is there even one of the social conscious paintings of the thirties, or the academic paintings of the twenties. Apparently the organizers of the show decided to include only the Abstract Expressionist

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  • Koshiro Onchi

    Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

    Appreciation and evaluation of the Japanese graphicists of the first half of the 20th century has been to date the exclusive province of a few collectors who first brought these artists to the attention of American museums. The bibliography of this period of Japanese printmaking is dominated by the names of Oliver Statler and James A. Michener. The Achenbach Foundation in its promotion of this exhibition seems unhesitatingly to have swallowed Michener's evaluation of Onchi as “the genius of this period of printmaking,” and thus are perpetuated the articles of faith that come to constitute the

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  • 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

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  • Jack Carrigg

    Triangle Gallery

    This small gallery on Polk Street, like many of its kind, seldom presents formally organized exhibitions but rather shows a fairly diversified range of works in a perpetual and slowly rotating group show. Outstanding in the more recent repertoire here are oil paintings by Masando Kito, a newcomer, and by Jack Carrigg, a gallery regular whose work has taken a new direction since last season. Mr. Carrigg continues to be fascinated with colored vertical stripes, but instead of the thick wavy lines, modulated surfaces and color transitions that characterized his earlier studies, he has abruptly

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  • Gallery Group

    Hobbs’ Gallery

    In this group the simple, serenely grey, but tonally dramatic, almost geometric paintings of the Nova Scotia-born artist, Max Bailey, are particularly noticeable, perhaps because he establishes a mood, whereas the more usual Hobbs Gallery artist is most interested in the tactility of the paint, and abandons himself to the sensuality of the process. McChesney also attains a sense of romantic atmosphere.

    John Stevens has a painting here in which aluminum skin is formed into a continuation of the impasto paint. His other work in this show is a floor standing painted wood sculpture. Colburn's freely

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  • Art Grant

    Green Gallery

    “Art Grant Turns the Tables” is the title of this exhibition in which table tops are deeply carved into whorls of textural pattern and hung on the wall. The turned table legs have been carved and sawed into comic totem poles. Every naughty schoolboy knows the joys of desk carving, and Art Grant's efforts are in somewhat the same prankish mode. The dowel is still sticking out, but has taken on the significance of a nose by virtue of the Halloween mouth beneath. The Grand Rapids varnish is still untransformed (“The plain varnished truth.”), so no one forgets it was a table. If the original table

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  • Kent Addison and Manes Lichtenberg

    Maxwell Galleries

    Mr. Addison exhibits ostentatious, decorative novelties of incredible vulgarity. Handsome pieces of natural-state chalcedony, amethyst and pyrite are encumbered by trite garish configurations of highly polished brass-plated steel often delineating some “cute” stylistic allusion to the shape of a fish or an animal. These are commercial trivia for the gift shop market. as are also the pretty little tourist pictures of Paris street scenes and French rural landscapes by Manes Lichtenberg.

    Palmer D. French

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  • Hansen Bang

    Resident Gallery

    Hansen Bang contrasts dark impasto calligraphy with transparent backgrounds for an orientalism that is derived both from Kishi, with whom he studied, and the abstract expressionism of Franz Kline. When he reverses this procedure and rubs a veil over the impasto image until it glows, his expression becomes more personal, authentic and successful. “The Great Mogul” and “Meditation” are examples of this latter technique.

    One can also see here the work of Joseph Ullery, who runs the gallery and whose main claim to distinction seems to be that he is a discovery of Bill Fiset (an Oakland columnist who

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  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi

    James G. Kelley Gallery

    This 19th-century “Ukiyu e” artist specialized in wood blocks of historical pictures: warriors in full armor mounted on frenzied steeds, in the tumult of battle, archers bending their bows, others hacking with two handed swords, all dramatically and romantically terrible. In one three-fold battle panorama, the Samurai have carried the fray to midstream and are thrashing each other while mounted on swimming and screaming horses. One less horrible, but equally frantic print, pictures richly attired and coiffured courtesans flailing some distraught ladies in pink kimono with the long sticks usually

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  • Robert Arneson

    Cellini Gallery

    These are cast pieces, most of them in brass, often molded directly from the object itself: corsets, bras, with such objects as footballs and basketballs. Though breasts are central to his enthusiasm, there are no actual castings from real breasts. Indeed, after some consideration and scrutiny one is still hard-pressed to know if he is for or against breasts. But there is no doubt about his attitude toward critics: his bust of a critic is cast from a stuffed shirt without head, slat sided like a hen coop, with some turds inside, possibly also cast from the real thing.

    Knute Stiles

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  • Robert De Lamonica

    Original Prints

    These are rich, black engravings, with raised intaglio areas of black on sooty absorbed blacks, structured with guy lines of threading geometry. The intaglio is a relief of deeply bitten lines and areas, with other areas underneath, mysterious forms, achieved with a deft use of aquatint. The paper has been literally molded, and the result is a medallion quality. The technical performance is magnificent. De Lamonica studied engraving techniques with Friedlaender when he taught in Brazil prior to forming his school in Paris. De Lamonica now teaches engraving in Minneapolis and has taught in his

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  • Group Show

    The Sausalito Gallery

    For the opening of another little gallery on Sausalito's Bridgeway waterfront to be anything but a statistical and a commercial commonplace, it would have to present something a good deal more noteworthy than the mediocre fare that comprises the initial exhibition offered in this somewhat cramped and overly-partitioned room above the locally legendary No Name Bar. Heading the constituency of the present exhibition are three of Sausalito's old regulars: Serge Trubach, Varda and Art Grant. Trubach, a painter of considerable merit, has elected to be represented here with some hastily contrived

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  • Gordon Onslow-Ford

    San Francisco Museum of Art and the Rose Rabow Gallery

    The museum has mounted an exhibition of drawings and watercolors spanning the years since 1938, and Onslow-Ford's regular gallery, the Rose Rabow, has simultaneously hung his recent watercolors and plastic paintings to mark the publication by Abrams of a book by Onslow-Ford, “Painting in the Instant.” (See “Books.”) Some of the earlier pieces in the museum exhibition are obviously derived from fashionable influences of the period—particularly Kandinsky. This is excusable on the grounds of youth, and it is correct and sound for the museum to have included these pieces, especially since Onslow-Ford

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  • Meckseper and Avati

    Eric Locke Gallery

    Meckseper is a German engraver whose technique reflects the steel engraving illustrations and diagrams of early books and catalogs, but with a sense of humor: a watch, picayunely rendered, covers half the table, which has been more casually drawn; a wee house beside the Globe Theater makes the latter outrageously huge. Perhaps the most successful print is “Rhinoceros” in which the beast is clothed in chain mail, shoes, undergarments, and a cutaway reveals the steam engine inside.

    Avati works in Paris, and his metier is intense black mezzotint still-life prints. One is a target with a mallard

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  • 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

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  • Fred Martin

    Lanyon Gallery

    Martin combines watercolor, collage, pencil line and script into pictures that are mystic messages as well as decorations. He chooses his subjects from nature and passages of poetry or philosophical prose, but which item stimulates the selection of the other is part of the intriguing mystery that makes his work so tantalizing. Whatever the procedure, when Martin finishes with a composition it becomes not only a visual delight but a gem of thought. His show at Lanyon is small, and has been carefully selected from four years of continuous work. In it he proclaims his deep interest in art as the

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