reviews

  • James Reineking

    The James Reineking exhibition at the Quay Gallery reveals a consistent development in his art. He has almost abandoned the moire-causing veil which represented the humming sound emanating from within as a visual symbol, the single draped veil in this show being attached to a tube coming out diagonally from the wall, and the veil coming out of a curving slot in the tube rather than the tube hanging in the veil. The tubes are no longer metal but plastic; the ends reveal a thickness whereas the metal tubes had presented no evidence of real substance to the edge and had thus appeared diagrammatic.

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  • Rudy Bender

    I seldom review photo shows, but this month the San Francisco Museum of Art mounted a show by Rudy Bender that had some extra appeal which had the weekend crowds congesting the hallway where it was on display. There were rows of stereopticon binoculars lining the walls in the most popular part of the show and the view was of nudes, layers of them, transparently seen through each other, filling up the space. The imagery was so dense that at times a part which one had initially associated with one nude is revealed on closer scrutiny to be a part of another. A nude walks out of herself and moves

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  • Norm Lofthus and Nancy Haigh

    The photos at the Reese Palley Gallery were more Dada Concept-oriented than (properly speaking) a photo show. Norm Lofthus had taken the pictures, and Nancy Haigh had tinted them, not by hand as the ad used to say, but with stencil and airbrush. The sitters were the VIPs of the University of California’s Art Department—or rather that part of them who were willing to indulge in the concept dialogue. Each had to wear the same corduroy jacket and fuchsia and black tie for their posing. It would be possible to guess who wore the tie in what sequence; its condition changed as the concept progressed.

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  • Robert Hartman

    Robert Hartman was one of the first painters who showed us a painting full of sky, no horizon. The focus was originally on primitive airplanes and the sky was merely their element, but then we saw a whole show of skies, some seen with the cloud strata diagonal, as from a plane banking. The show at the Berkeley Gallery is all sky, no planes or horizons, but a graph of equally atmospheric but geometrically stratified planes of sky or, in another, grids of lines as though to parse the sky for some mundane calculation. There are carefully brushed portions, portions of stain absorbency and elements

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  • Arthur Okamura

    Arthur Okamura has put painting aside in favor of graphics for a while. There is a frog just in the corner of the page which was, on first glance, a texture of greens. His block cuts, silk screens, and book illustrations are very Zen, even avowedly as in his illustrations for a book called Ox Herding which is a very traditional Zen sequence. Joel Weishaus, who wrote the poems, interpreted the text as“Search, traces, caught, taming, riding home, no ox, source, and city.” Okamura’s equivalent for city is a mandala of four circles of color around a circle of white. The traces are the oxen’s spoor.

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  • Karl Kasten

    Very often a graphic period is an experimental phase which sometimes completely alters subsequent work in an artist’s major media. Karl Kasten was working in a very painterly way when I last saw his paintings. I did see a show of his collotypes which I thought were both experimental and resolved, though a distant leap from the paintings. Now he is back to painting and the results are at the Bolles Gallery, this time with acrylic and metal leaf and hard-edged forms which tend to project themselves as solids in a void, though they do also lend themselves to being read as the inside warp of the

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  • Paul Harris

    Paul Harris has done a set of lithographs with metallic paper inserts glued before printing, with the printing upon both the page and its metallic patch. Rain is printed on vinyl with a brocade pattern for the wall and the raincoat hanging surrounded by the brocade wall, is yellow. One Morning in Munich is brocade with a flat violet tint as the relater. Girl on Beach has three variations of surface, a drawing-textured umbrella part, a flat blue beach part, and a spectral yellow-green-red sky part. There is also a small part of the girl—or is that she? And since we are looking up into the umbrella

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  • Louis Nadalini

    In the last couple of seasons, San Francisco has lost several of its galleries. Some others have just recently begun operating but often with an entirely new group of artists. Some members of those apparently secure gallery stables that went out of business have found their way into other stables, but a larger group is without a place to show. I decided to look into such a person’s studio in my endeavor to find out what is really happening in the Bay Area art world. I went to see Louis Nadalini. His latest painting continues with the lattice of slats protruding forward with two variations of

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  • Sargent Johnson

    The Oakland Museum of Art has sought out, researched, and mounted a retrospective of the work of Sargent Johnson who died at the age of 80 in 1967. I had gotten to know him well in the last 15 years of his life. He remained active and his work was experimental to the end. In the mid-fifties he was in Mexico and was excited about work.ing with the black clay from Ceyotepec (near Oaxaca). The Zapotec Indians had been kilning this black earth since pre-Columbian times. It has been used many ways, for example as a hard armature at the core of third and fourth epoch artifacts with a slip of softer

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