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Month: June 2013

  • June 29: Diebenkorn: the Berkeley Years

    Fans of Richard Diebenkorn (1922-93) will find many wonderful pieces in “Diebenkorn: the Berkeley Years” now showing at the DeYoung in San Francisco. Also many that are somewhat less than wonderful. Diebenkorn’s work typically exudes energy and a determination not to be pat. Generally that works well for him; at other times the focus on…

  • June 22: perspective oddity of Saenredam

    Pieter Janz. Saenredam (1597-1665) is admired for the breathtaking (and improbable) light in his wonderful interiors. In St. Anne, below, the image is largely held in light middle tones so that the dark, sprightly figures along the bottom command the space. That is masterful; but then he tied himself to a mechanical one-point perspective where…

  • June 15: the crafty art of Booth

    The essential skill of cartoonists lies in presenting a visual setup so that it can be comprehended at a glance. The more adept they are in this, the easier it is to miss their formal strength–because I get it at once, ha ha, and move on. Why linger? Unhappily, a cartoon’s transparency becomes a lost…

  • June 8: an artful pairing: Manet & Thiebaud

    Edouard Manet (1832 – 1883) and Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) aren’t two artists I normally associate with one another, but the two pieces here, while very unlike in effect, are so similar in pose and detail that I have to wonder if the one is a cheeky quotation of the other. The Manet is a…

  • June 1: a favorite: the quiet vision of James Weeks

    James Weeks (1922-1998) was a figure in the Bay Area Figurative movement in the ’50s and ’60s. His work tended to be strong in color but more reserved and pictorially conventional than that of his confreres. ┬áThis piece is a favorite. The figures and objects in it are descriptive but refined to simple shapes. These…