Douglas McClellan

  • “Scenes of Grandeur: 19th Century Landscape Paintings of California”

    A show brought together from the collec­tions of the Oakland Museum and pri­vate lenders that is a sentimental bou­quet for the College’s 75th birthday. It is redolent of the time and place when nature was its own reward and the painter was content to remind us of this fact. The wonder-of-it-all is in every cor­ner, California in its grandest and quiet­est aspects is celebrated with gusto and imported skill. Indians and squaws inhabit the Yosemite Valley, glacial peaks stand majestically behind the head­waters of the San Joaquin River, the Pacific shore by day and forests by night: all are part

  • Joan Maffei

    For sheer gusto of vulgarity in color, form and symbol this show deserves three cheers and a box of cigars. It has a Rabelaisian innocence that makes the use of lips, breasts, fecal forms, and the like, with their nagging insistence on modeled volume, become quite extroverted and funny. In many, the color is a wildly chromatic insult to the eye that can best be described as courageous. When this color is applied to the sausagey forms, the results are a visual turkey-shoot.

    There are quiet spots amid all the jollity that are rewarding (and welcome). The drawings, Sanci Studies, and the series

  • José Luis Cuevas

    Cuevas speaks of the human condition through fantasy and grotesquery. He can honestly be likened to the Goya of the Sleep of Reason or to Bosch, or to others who made images of the wild forces that make man his own most devastating parody. To cite Cuevas’ an­cestors is not unfair for he has a for­midable talent as a draftsman that al­lows him to support many influences and still remain intact. Several pages of studies, each containing about 40 fig­ures, are brilliant in their grasp of or­ganic structure and the ways in which this structure can be exploited. In the “Franco” series he pushes his

  • Allan Blizzard

    An easy and direct use of paint and an almost effortless way of recording the forms of nature mark the rather impres­sive talent of Allan Blizzard in his first one man show in the L.A. area. He is in many ways a “nature” painter: he can weave atmosphere and substance into simple and conclusive relationships, but many of the paintings have overtones beyond that of simple nature. There is often a breath of the Westwood Angst that implies dire offstage happenings and it is not always convincing in the presence of the hearty, untutored paint. Landscape Near Chatsworth seems more coherent than most

  • Edward Biberman

    This is an exhibition of work by an honest man with serious concerns; he possesses a strong mastery of the tools of his trade, and yet his paintings lack the authority they should rightly have. Like it or not, in the crisis of expression that exists in painting, the men with a great deal of manifest content are those most likely to become involved in “style.” In Biberman’s more ambitious paintings this attention to “styling” leads to an uneasy alliance between literal fact and a decorative suavity––an inter­spersed modernity that dilutes the intent––so that the message, which should be singularly

  • John Altoon

    Large oils that have origins in the artist’s re­cent drawings, deal with fanciful erotica and are executed with appropriate casu­alness. Loose clots of thick paint follow the paths of drawing, not imbedded into paint but left dry and vulnerable on the pristine white canvas. The result is an anti-painterly occupation of surfaces, a sense of things forced on a surface, rather than worked into it. This possibly adds bite to the perverse humor of his statement, but by becoming gigantic and embellished versions of the draw­ings, the paintings lose the intimate contact with the viewer and become more