San Francisco

Genevieve Edwards and more

Richmond Art Center

An astonishingly weak selection of 28 paintings. For some obscure reason a jury comprised of Elmer Bischoff, Paul Mills and Wally Hedrick rejected 388 of the 416 paintings and drawings submitted for this year’s annual, to come up with a show that resembles a high school annual more than the sophisticated work one has a right to expect from an area supporting some of the better known artists in the state.

Insecure jurors can create a minor scandal, and at the same time buy a cheap reputation for having ’’tough eyes” by this process of mass rejection. The West Coast has seen a rash of such jurying lately, and it is sad that this latest manifestation should bring embarrassment to Mr. Rudy Turk, the Center’s Director, who certainly has abetter shake coming to him. One wonders if (1) the jury system is no longer valid, (2) the annual competitions have outlived their usefulness excepting at local fairs, or (3) if directors are shirking the obligation to stipulate the selection of enough paintings to adequately fill the allotted space—leaving the final chastening to critics and viewers.

It is a pretty arrogant decision for three persons, however well trained, to make that less than 15% of the artists submitting shall show in an annual exhibition whose very purpose is to survey the year’s output from a given area. Especially when they pass in such untutored painters as Genevieve Edwards whose naive work, charming enough at its own level, negates the very idea of schooling and makes a mockery of art. Selections such as these devaluate the prize winners, who deserve the right to win their laurels in dignified competition.

Knute Stiles