Sacramento

Wayne Thiebaud, Tony DeLap, Jerry Silva, Anthony Berlant, Ralph Goings, David Dangelo, Darrell Forney, Alan Post, Gregory Kondos, William Wiley, Gary Pruner, Walter Ball, Larry Weldon, Dan Shapiro, Irving Marcus, Jack Ogden, Mel Ramos and more

Crocker Art Museum

Collector Malcolm Weintraub and Robert Else, Professor of Art at Sacramento State College, have selected 60 works by 31 artists of the immediate area in a show that is of much higher calibre than one might expect from a city too far away to be part of the Bay Area metropolitan complex of galleries yet too close to be wholly independent of it.

In a strange sort of dual role, San Francisco has been both a boon and a curse to the outlying cities. Too often unforgivably parasitic, city fathers of perimeter metropolises are apt to take a dim view of building museums or developing art centers since San Francisco is close enough to provide them. Yet San Francisco is for various reasons staggering under the demands of her own artists and offers little help to the outlander. The resultant vacuum has forced some of the artists to either go east or go south.

But with Frank Kent, a former New Yorker and now director of the Crocker Art Gallery, as a direct pipeline to New York, Sacramento’s art picture is brightening. The proximity of the University of California at Davis, with an outstanding art faculty headed by Richard Nelson, has vitalized the area. The Sacramento State College and Junior College both contribute steadily, although less spectacularly to the development.

The Crocker Art Gallery Association has underwritten the show with the promise of purchasing one work to be added to the Gallery’s collection of contemporary art. The selection for purchase will be difficult because of the even quality of the works exhibited—which is not to say they are in all cases best representative of the individual artist. However, in preparing the invitations list, stress was placed on artists of high and steady performance, those who would justify an investment, rather than on one-shotters.

The Invitational includes works by: Wayne Thiebaud, Tony DeLap, Jerry Silva, Anthony Berlant, Ralph Goings, David Dangelo, Darrell Forney, Alan Post, Gregory Kondos, William Wiley, Gary Pruner, Walter Ball, Larry Weldon, Dan Shapiro, Irving Marcus, Jack Ogden, Mel Ramos, Roland Petersen, Ralph Johnson, Don Reich, Tio Giambruni, Bob Arneson, David King, Mickey Kane, Bob Gilberg, Peter van den Berge, Gene Viacrucis, Patrick Dullanty, Robert Else, Jo Ann Gardner and Mary Lou Osborne.

Among them are artists of national stature, and that the show leans toward the mainstream of Pop and figurative art is because several of these artists have fed into that mainstream at its source. There are certain undisguised regional trends, especially among those artists of longtime residence. The influences of Thiebaud, Johnson, Wiley, Petersen, Giambruni and Arneson are apparent, yet no one seems to be following in their immediate wake.

Taken as a whole this is a good solid show. It is no more provincial than most and, while lacking that certain spark of individual daring which characterizes some of California’s larger annuals it also lacks those questionable results of emotional emeto-catharsis exhibited in some. Arneson still raises the hackles of a few observers.

The West Coast Watercolor Society was formed early in 1963 by a few Bay Area painters for the primary purpose of jointly exhibiting transparent watercolors only. This show, dealing mostly with landscape and cityscape, substantiates their claim to a membership of artists of exceptional ability in this medium.

Elizabeth M. Polley