San Francisco

“Looking Back: Bay Area 1945–1962”

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Historical moods also prevailed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in (yet another) provincial retrospective-introspective show devoted to 25 artists who were prominent in the San Francisco art community between 1945 and 1962. While the show was entitled “Looking Back: Bay Area 1945–1962,” it was, on the admission of its organizer, curator John Humphrey, primarily devoted to San Francisco. The East Bay and influences centering around the University of California, and deriving from Hans Hofmann’s incumbency there some time back, were neglected in favor of the oft-retold legend of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and the Clyfford Still-Mark Rothko-Frank Lobdell triumvirate and its enormous influence on two generations of San Francisco artists.

The show’s intended thesis, (in the absence of a catalog, and in view of the purely chronological, and

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