San Francisco

William Geis and Bruce Nauman

SFAI Walter and McBean Galleries

William Geis and Bruce Nauman, whose sculptures are now being shown at the San Francisco Art Institute, began the season by joining in a group project in transformation called the Slant Step Show in which the participating artists took a common object, ambiguous but functional, a very used slant step, which had probably been devised for a very routine but specialized purpose, but whose shape seemed to epitomize the anti-functional, or even impossible, and produced their own variations on its shape and meaning.

Geis’s sculptures in plaster are large objects of an organic nature, but they are not the smooth cleaned-up variations on that theme that gallery-goers are becoming accustomed to seeing these days. Geis’s objects are warty and brutish, and, unlike their cousins of the “organic Surrealist” persuasion, they are specifically menacing as well as erotic. If one walked unforewarned into a

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