San Francisco

Paul Cotton

Berkeley Gallery

The Berkeley Gallery featured an environment designed by Paul Cotton entitled Drawing Room for the Self. A long, corridorlike segment of the gallery with a wall pattern of whitewashed bricks (real on one side of the room and in part simulated for the occasion with painted wallpaper on the other) was divided along its length into two mirror image vestibules by a partition, perforated with regularly spaced rectangular apertures and used as the axis for a bilaterally symmetrical distribution of simple, uniformly shaped black cushions and austere columnar pedestals. As a consequence, a persistent and somewhat disquieting illusion, presented to a viewer on either side of the partition, was that the apertures were mirrors—in which, surprisingly, he did not see himself.

Palmer D. French