December 21, 2012

Receipt of Delivery: The Six

Receipt of Delivery is a weekly series featuring Bay Area exhibition mailers selected from the SFMOMA Research Library’s collection of artists’ ephemera.

1956; 14 x 8 1/2 in. (35.56 x 21.59 cm)

Joan Brown (b. Joan Beatty) and Mike Nathan, 1957; 12 x 9 in. (30.48 x 22.86 cm)

Leo Valledor, n.d.

Hayward King, 1955; 9 x 5 1/2 in. (22.86 x 13.97 cm)

Deborah Remington and Robert Carrigg, 1955; 3 1/2 x 11 in. (8.89 x 27.94 cm)

Julius Wasserstein, 1956; 8 1/2 x 11 in. (21.59 x 27.94 cm)

Manuel Neri and JoAnn B.Low, 1957; 12 x 9 in. (30.48 x 22.86 cm)

Third annual members and guest artists group show, 1956; 12 x 9 in. (30.48 x 22.86 cm)

“The Six Gallery was established in September 1954 with the intention that there might exist in the San Francisco area some outlet for the works of local artists who had heretofore been met with varying degrees of indifference, disinterest, or hostility by the larger commercial galleries and museums of art, where the concern seems to lie less with local, contemporary artists, than with others who have perhaps already established themselves.

“It is not the gallery’s intention to adhere to any single ‘school of thought’ in the arts. While maintaining a certain standard of quality, its main intent is to show those works which are alive, thought-provoking, and hence, creative. It is able to do this because it is willing to exhibit the mistakes and the blunders, which inevitably form a proportion of a creative body of work. It has been our observation that other outlets for the visual arts are afraid to take such a risk.

“It is the gallery’s concern that the public be exposed to those ideas that are growing up around it, perhaps even because of it. It is felt by all members that the gallery exists, not to shock or to please, but to expose. The nature of the public’s reactions is of interest, but of little concern to the Six. The immediate ideal has been attained, if it can perceive a reaction, alone.

“Similarly, the Six is interested in the reaction of critics, but places more trust in time and perspective, which appear to be more reliable agents in determining the distinction between painting and art.

“The gallery is supported and maintained by its membership, people who, be they participating artists or not, believe firmly in the gallery’s purpose, and are willing to give generously of their time and money in order to see the gallery persevere and expand.

“Members: Joel Barletta, Paul Beattie, Russell Brown, Sandra Carlson, Relf Case, Larry Compton, Madeleine Davidson, Guimar DeAngulo, Jay DeFeo, Roy De Forest, Rick Duerden, Petro Forakis, Charlotte French, Sonia Gechtoff, Dimitri Grachis, Wally Hedrick, Ellen Howard, Joyce Johnson, James Kelly, Adaline Kent, Annabelle Kirby, Thomas Kirby, Gesha Kurakin, Inez Leonelli, Jo-Ann B.Low, Fred Martin, Michael T. McClure, Nancy Morehouse, Owen Morrison, Pilh Napier, Dr. J. Max Roukes, Charles Safford, David Simpson, Iris Tonomura, Leo Valledor, Janelle Viglini, Julius Wasserstein, Walter Zandor.” (unpublished statement, circa 1957)

The Six Gallery (1954–57) was founded by artists Wally Hedrick, Hayward King, Deborah Remington, and David Simpson, and poets John Allen Ryan and Jack Spicer.


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