Prints and drawings from the Claudia Chapline collection

Claudia Chapline

Arthur Okamura, Barbara Galuschka Parsons, Billy Rose, Claudia Chapline, Connor Everts, Dieter Erhard, Harold Schwarm, John Griffiths, Jose Luis Quevedo Cuevas, Karl Kasten, Linda Goodman, Richard Kamler, Nicholas Kouninos, Paula Garret-Ellis, Paul Redaelli and Priscilla Birge. At the Claudia Chapline Gallery in Stinson Beach through June 2018.


The gallery space is surprising: it has a grand main room, not visible from the street, and several chambers representing decades of productivity and changing sensibilities. Claudia Chapline’s own work occupies a special room with drawings of heads and figures and abstracts, including what she terms “lift paintings” and “stacked sculptures.”

In the anteroom facing the street, a feathered chair by Dolph Gotelli shares space with imported weavings and costume items from around the world. The ceramic pieces are accomplished: tiny jars with bold flowers pressed into their lids, in timeless brown raku; a large ceramic rattle, hand-formed, loosely-painted and looking powerful enough for a sacred ceremony. And don’t miss the arresting landscape by Dieter Erhard, “Vista Cuanhtemoc.”

The sheer amount of work and diverse styles betray the roster of artists coming and going here, a Rolodex of people who have made serious art around Marin for decades. The work is curated with confidence by Chapline’s eye and feel for what works together in a space. Vintage poster prints document other art shows from galleries and museums both local and international, satisfying any number of curiosities. “Everything comes around again,” Chapline says.

The current show has many hi-octane color screen prints by Arthur Okamura. Opposite them hang cool lines, leaves and nature; down from that, a pair of Barbara Galuschka Parsons “Fields,” squiggles and clouds of fierce red, and purple with auras of blue. “Un Paseo Por Valencia,” a vibrant spread of playful shapes evocative of Spain, by Chapline, holds its own on a wall with Jose Luis Quevedo Cuevas’ “Destile.” Jane Culp’s “The Black Triangle” is paired with Kemp’s aquatint stereograph (a printmaking technique of tonal and 3-D effects). Nearby are a Billy Rose drawing, a broadside print of a Wendell Berry poem, Harold Schwarm’s startling “Prisoners” (hooded minimalist forms with just a trace of blood) and Connor Everts’s “Two Faces of Fear.” A voice for victims and images to raise political issues frequents the show. 

One of the great things about drawings and prints is their clarity and simplicity. The work on view asks provocative questions. Many of the pieces hold a line politically, and so are thought provoking. There is reason to pause, visit and listen to all these works.


Growing up, Emily Kuenstler frequented galleries in her hometown, New York City. She has lived in California since 2001.