Jane Livingston

  • Los Angeles: Barbara Munger

    WHOEVER HAS GAINED FAMILIARITY with a particular line of southern California art—specifically with the work of Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Michael Asher, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler—knows a special range of esthetic possibilities for the alterability of space by diffused light. Those artists have generally rejected the manner of physical sculptural priorities formally describable by such binary concepts as outthrusting/implosion, expansion/contraction, opening/closing, effluence/containment, etc. The usages of such oppositions apply most aptly, within the modern framework, to Constructivist

  • Edward Kienholz

    If Edward Kienholz had sprung upon us his latest body of work two or three (or especially more) years ago, it is uncertain whether many would have rushed to buy it, whole or piecemeal. What is so fascinating about the dauntlessly cheerful willingness of his public to barter for his hundreds of new watercolors is that Kienholz has negotiated a preposterously brazen and entirely characteristic deal, openly, largely by timing himself right. He is acquiring lots of money and, to boot, most of the possessions he might otherwise have to purchase with it, by trading on a current esthetic vagary: “

  • Ron Cooper

    It’s taken longer than it should have for Ron Cooper’s work to be shown, not piecemeal in gallery back rooms or in a Plastic Group show context, but on its own. Cooper has worked well and long enough now to merit serious attention—the problem with him is perhaps that the odd retreatingness and quiescence of his art make it seem at first unevolved, rather maddeningly bland, or not satisfyingly stylistic. One doesn’t easily see what’s there. Coming into his present one-man show at the Ace Gallery, for example, I was at first left rather cold by the mildness of its appearance. The four box-like

  • William Pettet

    The eminently dramatic appearance of William Pettet’s “mature” (at twenty-five) style on the Los Angeles scene came last summer in the form of scores of large canvases painted within four months time. There was suddenly this hugely efflorescent, opulent, sometimes sinister and, one suspected, accidentally achieved collection of wetly painted, air-blown curiosities; they seemed initially to have little to do with any L.A. esthetic “tradition,” at first recalling Louis and Olitski, but with none of their coolly arrived at, and reassuring, sense of ballast. Out of the approximately 30 works I

  • Los Angeles

    A very nice group of new paintings by Joe Goode are hung exceptionally low to the ground at Nicholas Wilder. The works show Goode to have returned wholeheartedly to a full and subtle palette after a rather prolonged predominantly black, white and grey period; the present canvases are really color paintings, with the imagery (mostly fragments of sheets and pillows, like the ones seen here last year in drawing form) superposed abruptly on inflected fields of oil paint. There is no point in laboring a comparison of his milk bottles, houses, spoons, or clouds with the sheet/pillows; all are basically

  • Barry Le Va: Distributional Sculpture

    WITHIN A TWO AND A half year period, from early 1966 to the present, Barry Le Va’s art has traced out a personal stylistic history of extraordinary repleteness. If his assumptions and terms are problematical and sometimes difficult to accept, they are eminently worth examining. In defining Le Va’s stylistic progression, several factors which evolved simultaneously must be considered: types of materials used, size and number of components, size of overall format, use of color, and approach to internal organization of parts. The successive decisions made with respect to each of these elements

  • Magic Theater

    As a coherent presentation of an art which is overpoweringly theatrical, an environmental art which literally assaults the eye, the ear and the skin, and as a nominally esthetic array of complex, skillfully crafted technological devices, Ralph T. Coe’s Magic Theater at Kansas City’s Nelson Gallery surpassed anything of its kind that I had ever seen. This was the third and by far the most ambitious of Coe’s “psychic art” shows, though most of the eight artists represented had figured in his earlier productions. Having been more or less familiar with the work of each, and having in advance read

  • Iain Baxter

    Iain Baxter, or, as he advertises himself, the N. E. Thing Company, is back in Los Angeles this year with five new “inflatables” at the Gallery 669. Judging alone from this exhibition, or even from his appearances here collectively, it would be awfully difficult to understand the claims that some seem to be making for him as single-handedly providing witness of a sudden great swell of fresh and serious artistic talent in Western Canada. This phenomenon becomes slightly more comprehensible when one grasps the indefatigability with which the N. E. Thing Co. is promoting itself as the quintessence

  • Roy Lichtenstein

    That Roy Lichtenstein’s backs of canvases are something of a throwback to an earlier approach comes initially both as a relief and a vague disappointment, weary as we are on the one hand of ’30s moderne, and, on the other, secretly expectant of yet another delectable surprise. But one can only account to himself for secretly indulged tastes up to a point, and Lichtenstein, it now appears, is clever enough to measure out his soft insults with reserve. The new works, of which the Irving Blum Gallery shows six, are basically dot paintings in only three colors, black, white and yellow. They are

  • Tom Holland

    Tom Holland’s group of shaped fiberglass paintings at Nicholas Wilder adds one more to the handful of remarkable one-man shows of local art seen here over the past year. Holland is an “important” painter only within limited and self-imposed terms, since he refuses to enter into any collective problem-solving esthetic syndrome. If his art has qualities of crudeness and perishability partly for their own sake, it is not because the artist is Making a Point about these things. What he does purvey in his semi-abstract uses of muddy, pied surfaces and flimsy shapes is that “formal elements” in painting

  • Chuck Prentiss

    Chuck Prentiss is a young Los Angeles artist and an accomplished technician whose kinetic light sculpture suffers, simply, from the generic malady of this enterprise, which is to say that, observing his pieces, one is as much interested in the mechanism as in the effect. However, it would be unfair to dismiss his kinetic light constructions out of hand on this basis. Prentiss achieves extraordinary illusionistic appearances with ingenious and yet relatively uncomplicated means. All the works now at Esther Robles are boxes, none measuring more than about 2 1/2 by 3 feet; they have coated glass

  • “Plastics: L.A.”

    “Plastics: L.A.,” an exhibition organized by Fidel Danieli for California State College at Los Angeles, runs from the superlative to the negligible, with a great deal in between. It is almost uniformly characterized by the most highly refined workmanship. The conspicuous exception is a peculiar work by Robert Fay Marks which incorporates a large, slightly dog eared piece of cardboard. Marks seems to be taking his departure from Ron Davis’s difficult illusionistic paintings, an example of which stands here as a keystone in relation to many of the works surrounding it.

    Yet there is a profound