Crown Point Press presents Beulah Land, a 1966 project by Fred Martin, in celebration of The Dilexi Retrospective and Beyond. The Dilexi Gallery in San Francisco’s North Beach was instrumental in cultivating the development of post-war contemporary art during its 12-year run from 1958 to 1969.
Fred Martin, who was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, has been active in the Bay Area arts community since the late ‘40s as an artist, instructor, writer, and administrator. He showed at the Dilexi Gallery regularly in the early years, and his 1967 show there focused on Beulah Land, a bound book of fifteen etchings published by Crown Point Press and printed by Kathan Brown in 1966.
Brown and Martin met at the San Francisco Art Institute where she taught in the 1960s, and he served as director from 1965 to 1975. Martin’s Beulah Land is a book of his hard ground etchings with added hand painting, based on a story inspired by Biblical passages. At the end is a quote from an 18th century Polish poet, Princess Isabel Czartoryska: “I wrote this for my / own pleasure and to / record experience / I should not wish to / forget.” Fred Martin’s style reflects a fascination with mythology and philosophy, and he often added autobiographical symbols and personal narratives to his work. According to Martin, the book of etchings is titled after the place where "the good go to wait outside heaven" in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.
The Dilexi Retrospective and Beyond was organized by Laura Whitcomb and Label Curatorial, Los Angeles. It inaugurates a multi-venue exhibition taking place this summer in San Francisco and Los Angeles, focused on the artists and exhibitions of the Dilexi Gallery. Other exhibition venues include Brian Gross Fine Art in San Francisco, and the Parker Gallery, Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, The Landing, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles. The exhibition Beulah Land is on view in the Crown Point Gallery at 20 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, June 8 – July 27, 2019. The gallery hours are Monday 10- 5 and Tuesday through Saturday 10-6.