Roger Baird

The 44th National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Society stresses an astonishing range of technical approaches to the handling of a medium that was probably in use before man had a spoken language. One sees here the full spectrum—from the transparent to the opaque, from the objective to the non-objective. The jurors, Jonathan Scott, Leonard Edmondson, Noel Quinn, Clem Hall, and Hilda Levy, apparently placed but one requirement upon an accepted work: that it stand as a painting. They have admitted very few duds. Yet despite the depth of subject matter and the general excellence of execution, the most exciting works here are those limited to transparent color. In them, the drama of pure color reaches its highest expression.

Roger Baird’s cast bronze sculptures of segmented flag motifs and figure fragmentations or gestures are suggestive of Pop Art. His drumming on the theme of patriots and patriotism is effective enough in these small works, although one wonders if the subject couldn’t have been better summed up in one large, significant work. And that just may be what Baird has in mind.

Elizabeth M. Polley