Irving B. Petlin

  • Barnett Newman

    The problem of commenting on the recent Newman suite of color lithographs is that there is precious little to deal with visually. The whole exercise is about a “stance” taken by the artist in his preface, largely unsubstantiated by the work itself, while at the same time strongly implied by the sumptuousness of its presentation in hand crafted book form as a limited edition of eighteen volumes. Starting with the vellum-covered box, a faint, centered “BN” is discerned. Continuing to the red title page, with a flourish is written “18 Cantos” and the artist’s signature. Then the Preface. Then Canto

  • Jacob Epstein, Kaethe Kollwitz, Louis Barye, Menen

    The gallery presents a selection of sculpture as well as a changing exhibition of paintings and 20th-century Aubusson tapestries. The sculpture installation is dominated by seventeen works of the late British sculptor, Sir Jacob Epstein. Mostly bronze busts of his favorite models, these are joined by a study of a child as well as a roughly academic portrait head of Rabindranath Tagore. The Princess Menen bust of 1948, even in its truncated form of a half-body frontal portrait presents an aspect of the Epstein archetypal heroic female form: a large raw-boned Eurasian/Eurafrican with flowing,

  • Charles Garabedian

    The painter shows 20 canvases, mostly small and meticulous, dating from 1963 to the present. The surface look of a primitive, or even an amateur, while very apparent, begins to dissolve upon even a little reflection. The picture-making devices are too complex, and innocence never triumphs in these works. Rather, a whole set of art historical origins emerge, most of which are pre-Cubist. There is a spread· ing of interest that can include the early Northern and Southern European Renaissance as in “Saint Francis at Lake Arrowhead” and “Christ Under the Off-Ramp,” as well as 1930s public mural

  • James Strombotne

    An image maker of some power, who in his new show of paintings and small bronzes, withdraws ever more from formal delectation.

    Allowing not even a clear flatness of form to assert itself, Strombotne propels his figural idea into consciousness, making a leap, so to speak, at the viewer from an expanse of canvas that is barely perturbed. In some instances the painting consists of a line drawing in black oil on a scumbled single color wash, as in “King Farouk’s Morning Walk.” The paintings divide at a certain point into two distinct modes. The predominant one is an almost flat, opaque, frozen-photo

  • Ellsworth Kelly

    The New York painter, sculptor and, now, for Los Angeles, printmaker, shows an extensive suite of color lithographs executed superbly in France this year. The bulk of the exhibition, with the exception of three unique images, is made up of five configurations which are run through color variants off the same stone.

    The variant most often repeated is a small, soft tilted square fitting exactly inside another larger, soft tilted square, the whole form seemingly bobbing and gently floating in the milky white paper rectangle. There are seven color variations on this form, each carrying a title such

  • Dakota Daley and Nicholas Quennel

    The two artists play Adam and Eve in a series of single and two-color images projected onto panels using photo-sensitized canvas techniques. The man artist, Adam, and the woman artist, Eve, “picture” themselves in color-charged but nevertheless spaceless worlds of dark green, dark blue, yellow, and heated red and white. The photo images have a soft grey studio interior light that generally quiets the red and yellow panels. In the dark green and dark blue panels this image dissolves into a photo ghost as value separations become more tenuous. In the larger-than-life-size “Adam and Eve” #1 and #

  • Sorel Etrog

    Bronzes, a forest of them, by a young Romanian sculptor living and working in Toronto, Canada. Large, mostly upright angular forms twisting and spiraling, knotting and unknotting sometimes separating and then rejoining to begin downward again.

    The precise juncture of these maneuverings in space is lost for all time by the completion of the figure described. An anthropomorphic abstract figure or “personage” is always energizing the flow and is in turn always being described. These forms in flow have a frontal side, usually smooth, and a profile, generally roughened, and bearing the gouge-marks of