reviews

  • “Current Painting and Sculpture of the Bay Area”

    Stanford Museum of Art

    To celebrate the opening of newly renovated galleries the Stanford Art Department. under the direction of Lorenz Eitner, installed a large group exhibit of recent Bay Area painting and sculpture in the Stanford Museum building.

    As a totality the exhibit duplicates such large group gatherings as the S. F. A. I. Annual, The Richmond Annual, or the revolving group shows-in-depth at the San Francisco Museum, held during the three summer months. With the possible exception of Mel Ramos and William Reynolds all the artists, including Elmer Bischoff, Keith Boyle, Joan Brown, Ron Davis, Tony Delap, Roy

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  • Tony DeLap

    San Francisco Art Institute

    An exhibition at the Institute and a $1000 prize have been awarded to Tony DeLap as this year’s recipient of the Nealie Sullivan award to working artists. Five of DeLap’s aluminum, plexiglass, and canvas objects are mounted at eye level. The viewer may view them or view through them. Whereas the wall pieces which preceded them suggested auditory devices, these, which are two sided (same on both sides), about three inches thick, and which have a small plexiglass peephole in the center, are more suggestive of eye instruments. There are dots or lines to line up. The Albers illusion of pyramiding

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  • David Park

    University Art Gallery, U.C. Berkeley

    A memorial exhibition of 39 paintings from the last five years of Park’s life, when he was on the faculty of the University of California (1955–1960). Many are from collections of friends, and among them are some that Park would probably have deleted. But there is something of the cult of a personality connected with him, (there was even before his death) that seemingly makes everything he did or said inordinately important here. The sudden burgeoning of what at first appeared to be not much more than a mediocre talent when he was painting goopy abstractions into an astonishingly inventive artist

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  • Jean Varda

    Mulberry Union, University of California Medical Center

    Varda has found a handsome new building on Parnassus Street with a generous space for hanging pictures opposite a panoramic window on the park and city. The museums were too much engrossed in the latest topical vogues or in sifting and re-evaluating the past, so he hung his vivacious and decorative collages there, and invited his friends and enthusiasts to join him in opening the show. A distinguished, charming and decorative crowd attended that soiree. We are assured that this is a retrospective, but these all look bright and new; moreover, the painted paper collages which preceded the opulent

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  • James Grant and James Melchert

    Hansen Galleries

    The syncopated plastic rhythms, sharp spatial transitions, and “dissonantly” juxtaposed shapes and color contrasts that so strongly characterized Mr. Grant’s collage-paintings, exhibited a year ago at the De Young Museum, are nowhere to be found in his current show. He has, to be sure, retained a few stylistic mannerisms from his earlier work, but the vitality has considerably waned. Most of the recent work here shown essays related colors in like tonal values; color masses and linear configurations are distributed in such a way that each work is a study in composed static equilibrium and tonal

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  • Ernie Kim, Sung Woo Kim, John Richards, and John Battenberg

    Richmond Art Center

    Ceramic bowls and boxes, Mandala paintings, diagrammatic painting and bronze allegorical sculptures that reflect influences from medieval Asia and the Age of Flight.

    Kim was head of the ceramics department at the San Francisco Art Institute before joining the faculty of the Richmond Art Center. He has long been involved in teaching, and because of the constant discipline enforced upon an instructor he has run the calculated risk of becoming academic. He has pretty well skirted this hazard because of an inordinate sensitivity to the uses and abuses of color and by means of subtle manipulation of

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  • “Directions I & II”

    Gumps Gallery

    The title of this serial group show seems inordinately pretentious in view of the fact that many of the works shown have been spasmodically shuttling between the walls and the bins of this gallery for a year or more. None of the work exhibited presents any new trend in the methods of the exhibiting artists, all of whom are well-established members of Gumps’ regular stable. “Directions I” re-exposed some recently seen landscapes by Walter Snelgrove and some familiar Howard Hack paintings from the “Window” series. Possibly new was a wall-plaque by Faralla in his familiar method of assembling

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  • Joel Barletta

    Dilexi Gallery

    Barletta has reduced to the fundamentals of abstract painting. He is five paces forward from the artist facing the blank square of canvas wondering what he can do to make it more perfect. Pace one is a ninety-degree angle reiterating a corner of the original, and forms a rectangle. Pace two is a curving corner suggesting the organic, and opposing the first form. The third is the recognition of the space between these forms, the distance varying from painting to painting; thus this becomes a designed form, too. Pace four is the introduction of the element of color, giving the three forms substance

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  • Fletcher Benton

    California Palace of the Legion of Honor

    Mr. Benton exhibits portraits of some of his colleagues in the community of Bay Area artists, including James Monte, William Morehouse, Walter Snelgrove, Bryan Wilson, and others. These life-size full-figure portrayals in oil are executed in a broad, casual manner. Usually the object of this type of informal portraiture is to suppress detail and to select and dramatize essential individual characteristics. In the group here, however, an overall monotony of subdued palette and tense, somber facial and postural expressions gives the impression that many of the artists who sat for these portrayals

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  • William Theo Brown

    Hollis Galleries

    Brown’s enthusiasm for the figure is probably an extension of the life class work of his school period, but the nude here is not posing: he is wrestling, diving, playing volley ball, or just looking in a mirror, but always actively engaged. The color is bright and handsome, fairly varied, and seems to be the principal interest of the painter. It is a happy combination of the expressive and decorative uses of color.

    A frequently used technique among the broad brush figurative painters, is to flatly paint in the silhouette of the figure in a thin turp wash, and then body forth a loosely modeled

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  • Joan Savo

    California Palace of the Legion of Honor

    Miss Savo continues her variations on the isolated figure dissolving into a beachscape. The dominant mood is one of lyrical ethereality and retrospection, sensitively established by muted tonalities of sandy greys, yellows and greens, and the pale blues that shoreline background suggests. One feels however that two or three of these paintings exhaust Miss Savo's theme.

    Palmer D. French

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  • “Flag Show”

    Green Gallery

    For the most part this exhibition consists of flippant Pop Art leg-pulls and tongue-in-cheek blasphemies designed to draw fire from John Birchers and the like. Many of these spoofs revert to the theme of Henry Miller’s book “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare,” combining American flag motifs with objects suggesting the more pedestrian aspects of mass culture and mass-media commercialism. Outstanding in this genre is Art Grant’s optically gimmicky television screen with undulating striations and asterisk stars that rotate against one another in cog-wheel fashion. There are obvious political overtones

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  • Richard Schoenhoff

    Venus Gallery

    Schoenhoff is one of ten 1964 MFA recipients from the University of California who opened a cooperative gallery in September with a rather weak group exhibition. One-man shows, of which this is the first, will, one hopes, separate the chaff from the grain. Schoenhoff is not apt to be the first discard. His drawings are exceptionally strong—although in the “Implex” series they are much too direct in approach to justify the title even in a mathematical sense. A bold, Kline-ish calligraphy does create a limited system of surfaces, but greater complication is needed to fulfill the meaning of the

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  • Guido Augusts

    Vorpal Galleries

    This is a first one man show by a Latvian artist recently arrived here by way of Mexico. The most persistent mark of his style is a scrived checker design written into heavy paint which forms the background and sometimes continues on into the objects. The objects are often owls, in which the checks become plumage, or simple still life equipage such as fish on plate, three green oranges, two bottles, etc.

    There are two paintings in quite different technique. These are painted with a free slashing brush stroke in dark prussian blue, and flaming red oranges, colors which one tends to associate with

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  • Bernie Casey

    Bolles Gallery

    Most of these paintings are very soft and nacreous, but Casey also uses a dry brush feather-edged technique which is apparently applied last, and which points up and accents the picture. In one painting, “Fable to a Fawn,” a splashy wetness has invaded the method, and the result is greater spontaneity. Among the more typical pictures, “Peacocks in Purple” is composed of whorls of richly decorative color; “Whispers and Small Laughter” is a grey silvery moonlight piece. Casey has felt no need to paint anything but beautiful objects to decorate tasteful chambers.

    Knute Stiles

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  • Stanley M. Long and Ray Strong

    Maxwell Galleries

    Mr. Long’s watercolors of Western scenes with equestrian cowboys are of a genre frequently seen on children’s jig-saw puzzles and photo stills from Grade B Westerns. If Mr. Long had had the humor to emphasize the similarities by some device of parody (such as overlaying the pictures with a jig-saw network of lines or introducing photo-negative effects) these could have made some hilarious Pop Art. But alas, the work is absolutely dead-pan and, perforce, the chuckle is at, not with, the earnestness of these commercially stereotyped grass-roots homilies. Mr. Strong’s landscapes in oil are just

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  • Milton Hebald

    Penthouse Gallery

    A small rectangular area of roof space adjoining a penthouse office suite has been converted into an open-air gallery by the tenant of the suite. The current exhibition is the first of a series of projected exhibitions of sculpture by artists affiliated with the Nordness Gallery in New York. Mr. Hebald’s jaunty paraphrasing of Classical and Baroque sculptural themes in cast bronze are amusing but hardly distinctive: they are solidly within a very familiar vernacular of the commercial conventions of decorative, “conversation piece” garden sculpture.

    Palmer D. French

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