San Francisco

Ben Langton, Charles Gill, Eleanor Anderson, Robert Harvey and Beth Van Hoesen

S. F. Art Institute

The word “supernatural” may have been added to the title of this show to allow it to include Ben Langton’s “Angel Flying” which, however, has a more complete complement of natural equipment than most angels. Charles Gill’s “Nosebleed” is a naked lump of humanity on a morgue slab painted with Baconian grotesqueness. “The Invader” by Eleanor Anderson is painted with transparent polymer in bright violets, oranges, blues and greens; the figure is only nominally present, having been used as a point of departure for designing, like the compote in a still life. It is a beautiful abstraction. “Esther’s New Hat” in sepia tones was painted by Robert Harvey to imitate a faded photograph in which the eyes have disappeared in the overexposed shadow of a large hat. In Beth Van Hoesen’s etching “Pearls” the principal details are raised white intaglio pearl necklace and teeth in a pink face. This interesting and inventive but unnatural collection of pictures might have been more appropriately entitled “Jest and Riddle” than the recent museum survey with that name.

Knute Stiles