San Francisco

William Theo Brown

Crocker Art Gallery

At the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento is a 2-gallery exhibition of landscape and figure paintings by William Theo Brown. Brown has developed the Bay Area style of figurative painting into a near-classic idiom. His Man and White Horse has overtones of both Cezanne and Gauguin, but the statement is one related to northern pastures under cool light. Despite the nude figure and romantic reference, one’s response is spiritual. It is the small painting of Bacchanalia that is most provocative, however. It gives no indication of the drunken revelry that the title would imply. Nude men and women, in a woodsy setting, go in opposite directions, unaware of each other, while from a sunny glade a randy he goat stares at them with unbelieving eyes. Rites of Spring, 1966 style?

E. M. Polley