Steve Kaltenbach, Stephen Davis and Howard Fried

University Art Museum, Berkeley

As misfortune would have it, the beautiful, succinct show of three disparate Bay Area artists (Steve Kaltenbach, Stephen Davis, Howard Fried) at U.C. Berkeley’s campus museum is also Brenda Richardson’s last curatorial will and testament. I mention this not as social note, but because the geographic spread and regional/mainstream paranoia of Northern California’s artists require a jaundiced eye and loving mind in the same museological head. Somebody has to tread lightly among semitough Marden disciples, video troupers, and inland imagist art-farmers and pull it all together once in a while without genuflecting before the post-Minimalist priesthood or the innocents of rural groovyism. As here. Kaltenbach is a reformed Conceptualist (art-relevant words ’n stuff in lead, etc.) turned to (in the main) small oils of a sunset and maple tree through/within a superimposed arabesque of intricately

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