San Francisco

Jan Evans and Ernest Posey

Galeria Van Der Voort

Over the past months the Galeria Van Der Voort has been developing an excellent stable of artists who are exploring and contributing to those ways of working which might well be termed “Neo-Pythagorean” currents in the contemporary mainstream; artists of admitted predilection for the drafting board, ruler and compass, whose work is crisp and hard-edged, bridging the gap between the “pure” and the “decorative” in the elaboration of smooth, poised symmetries wrought with meticulous care and craft in whatever medium and sometimes projective of mathematically contrived, systematically pursued schematics of proportion and design.

Distinguished among this gallery’s sculptors is Jan Evans, whose recently exhibited sculptures are constructions in sections of extruded-channel, architectural aluminum, sometimes combined, or enclosed, in various ways, with rectangular sheets of transparent Plexiglas. In some of Miss Evans’ pieces vertical columns of aluminum channel, built up from joined segments alternately varied in finish-texture or anodized in various colors, are banked together; in conjunction with cutaways in the walls of the channels these rectilinear ranks of tubing give the impression of rectangular organ pipes or fanciful futuristic skyscraper models.

Following the Evans exhibit, after a summer group installation (including such fascinating items as a novel topological construction in fiberglass by Avery Falkner, an intricate hard-edge abstraction in acrylic by John Hamilton and a metal piece by James Prestini, the eminent engineer-designer-artist now teaching at the University of California), the gallery opened its fall season with a one-man show of work by draftsman-painter Ernest Posey.

Posey applies striking arrays of vivid luminous color to large-scale compositions expounding minutely detailed, mathematically formulated designs which he plots onto the canvas with ruler and compass. In addition to displaying a wealth of geometric novelty and invention, Mr. Posey frequently elaborates in a rich acrylic spectrum upon some of the old familiar ruler-and-compass formulas used by medieval craftsmen in their projection of designs for stained glass windows, such as those patterns that may be generated by systematically interconnecting points equidistantly spaced around the circumference of a circle or describing some simple regular polygon. Sometimes in such essays the precisely plotted, ruled and measured networks of closely spaced radial lines intersect in such dense meshes that closely juxtaposed colors blend at a distance as in a pointillist color-fabric, while being individually so finely and painstakingly executed that on close inspection each line may be traced from point to point through the thickest weave.

Palmer D. French