San Francisco

George Miyasaki and Joe Overstreet

Berkeley Gallery, Berkeley Art Center

Another treat for the senses was provided by George Miyasaki, who showed five paintings from his Ripple Series at the Berkeley Gallery. The word “ripple” refers to the central image, a solid ellipse with concentric—if that is the word—elliptic outlines radiating from it. The colors are lavender and red, and the gradations in value are small, though not so small as to disappear, as in the work of Ad Reinhardt. Miyasaki’s work is at once geometric and voluptuous; the paintings are consciously intended to be beautiful, and they score a quiet success.

The Berkeley Art Center has had a strong show of paintings by Joe Overstreet, a black artist from Berkeley who recently returned to the West Coast after ten years in New York. Overstreet’s paintings are shaped something like shields or spider webs. At each corner of the web is a grommet, and the paintings are attached to the walls and floor of the gallery by ropes passed through the grommets. Overstreet often uses the predominantly diagonal lines created by the ropes by .continuing them into the painting and echoing them in less direct ways.

Within the area of the painting Overstreet works in hard-edge abstraction, using colors whose combination suggests African or American Indian sources. He is a wholly contemporary artist whose work gains added power by drawing upon the traditional art of other cultures.

Jerome Tarshis