San Francisco

Frederic Hobbs

Bolles Gallery

At the Bolles Gallery, Frederic Hobbs exhibited drawings, mixed media graphics, and paintings on paper, together with a small selection of molded fiberglass sculptures. Hobbs is a good draftsman; his ink drawings and sepia-toned acrylic/ink gouaches are powerful and articulate. Their larger than life, expressionistic bravura repertoire, religious, mythological and Bacchanalian imagery, in juxtapositions at once poignant and sardonic, present a compelling revival of the spirit, themes and style of Heinrich Kley. Here, too, but slightly metamorphosized, is Kley’s cloven-hoofed and taloned Witches’ Sabbath menagerie of centaurs and satyrs, of crocodiloid dragons and bat-winged gargoyles, as well as a few little creepies obviously descended from the bestiary of Hieronymous Bosch. Parked outside the gallery for the duration of the show was the second and latest of Hobbs’s motorized sculptural fantasies entitled Trojan Horse. This piece like its predecessor (which Hobbs drove from San Francisco to New York in 1964) is built upon and around an automobile chassis as a foundation armature, and presents the appearance of a float tableau for some fantastic pageant based on themes and imagery related to that of the drawings. A fiberglass sculpture in the gallery entitled A Piper for Jesse MacKaye consisted of sensitively rendered tenuosities of expressionistic freeform resembling some brooding, dead forest arabesque of twisted tree trunks and jagged, wind-fractured, splintery branches.

Palmer D. French