by Alfred Frankenstein
San Francisco Chronicle – Jan, ’66
“Saturday night at the Tape Center. William Ham demonstrated the latest and one of the most successful of the numerous efforts which have been made to add the dynamic of motion to abstract painting.
Ham’s technique is based upon the projection of light through colored liquids in a shallow, transparent dish. The liquids vary in density, viscosity, and mixability, and so they theater shapes, which are enormously magnified in projection of a screen.”
“What I liked most about Ham’s method is that it is the artist’s hand at all times. It is a performance. It is action painting that ceases with the action. It relies to some degree on the unpredictable , but it is also decidedly under control. There is alot to be done with it, but even if it doesn’t develop past its present stage, it will have accomplished a great deal.”
EXCITING EXPERIMENT IN LIGHT AND SOUND
“Oils, inks, and doubtless some solids, too, are swirled together in glass dishes and projected by light, enormously magnified, onto a screen. The technique is highly improvisational and always will be; still and all, it is subject to a considerable degree of control, and the epochal composition theater on the screen with six or eight projectors Friday night clung as faithfully to principles of abstract from as any carefully premeditated painting.
The over-all form was one of crescendo in pace and brilliance to a climax and a return to the mood and style of the beginning.
Variation, paraphrase, allusion, counterpoint of theme and of tempo – in short, all the time-honored devices of development in time and space – were effectively marshaled, and , as always, the visual effect accommodated itself most obligingly to the rhythms of the music. “
UNIQUE WORK IN LIGHT AND SOUND