San Francisco

Manuel Neri

San Francisco Museum of Art

The last show in the summer salon at the S. F. Museum is of fiberglass castings that Manuel Neri has taken from his own earlier carved plaster figures. The older plaster pieces are also there. The fiberglass has taken the form of the carved plaster but the mold is not made to cast other pieces; instead the mold is the piece, a thin skin of various half-portions of the carvings. On a full-face one Neri has mounted some plaster on the head and recarved a new face in a more block style. The originals were fragments, and the casts are half as much. Neri’s work is related to archaeology; not puzzling out potsherds, but putting together fragments of some unknown past. The room full of pieces standing upright on posts made a curious impression; they are just life-sized, like relics from some forgotten earthquake.

Knute Stiles