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

  • Cézanne Watercolors

    Cézanne has been approached so often by way of interpretive historical analysis and re-analysis that the pattern has apparently become irreversible. Thus John Coplans, writing in conjunction with his exhibition of Cézanne watercolors at the Pasadena Art Museum, says, “Cézanne’s discoveries led to the Cubist structure and finally into the art, for example, of de Kooning and Kline. Monet’s art, on the other hand, became the genesis for Pollock and the field painters, in particular, Newman, Still and Rothko, with such artists as Guston and Hofmann, for example, straddling both aspects. Thus Monet’s

  • “Sculpture in the City”

    The Esthetic Research Center (ARC), formed under the leadership of Charles Mattox, has collaborated with Century City to present the first fruits of its existence, “Sculpture in the City.” ARC was initiated with the primary objective of creating (at last) a viable liaison between certain local artists working in “new materials” and/or “monumental form,” and those industries disposed to make their resources available to such artists. The second purpose of ARC, as demonstrated in the current Century City project, is to see that monumental outdoor sculpture is indeed displayed out of the doors of

  • Robert Hudson

    The inventions of Constructivism have infiltrated American sculpture over the last several years in so many undisguised usages that it is seldom necessary even to mention their presence. But in the case of Robert Hudson’s new sculptures, six of which are at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, the Constructivist ethos has crept in to a degree which makes the analogy central. Actually it is less the extent of Hudson’s use of Constructivist ideas than the special way in which he uses them in combination with indigenous idioms which gives his work its specific character of historical eclecticism. Hudson

  • Jesse Reichek

    The University of Southern California’s Fisher Art Gallery is showing a retrospective view of prints and drawings by Jesse Reichek. Although Reichek has been working in California for a number of years (he teaches at the University of California at Berkeley), and has had periodical shows in New York and Paris, he has been curiously neglected in Los Angeles; in fact this exhibition introduces his work here for the first time. It is not inappropriate that the selection excludes paintings, for Reichek’s most compelling ideas seem to find expression in small format, and in media which enable fine

  • Donald Llewallen

    Donald Llewallen’s paintings at Ceeje are lucid and carefully executed works whose primary force of persuasion rests in their illusion of internal luminousness. The scale and varying geometric compositions of the canvases serve the impression of subtle, stratified light in frontal and retreating planes: Llewallen restricts himself to uniform vertical panels or undivided picture surfaces. The tonality is limited to black, white and grey.

    Portal Series II, Two Ways (9 x 9’) is divided into equal halves. The left rectangular section is shaded at the bottom, lightening gradually upwards; the right

  • Ay-O

    The opening exhibition at Gallery 669—operated by a former manager of the Minami Gallery in Tokyo—is an environment of rainbow-striped objects and perforated boxes by Japanese artist Ay-O. It is called Tactile Rainbow #6. The “Rainbow” refers to a selection of ready-made items like plates, cups, spoons, matches, ashtrays, etc., painted with colored stripes, a series of “paintings” (these are striated all over, including the frames), and three Life Magazine covers with arbitrary sections of the photographic design painted in the same bright spectral patterns. Two of the covers represent American

  • Anthony Caro, John Hoyland, Bryan Kneale, John Carter, Tim Scott, Derrick Woodham, Nigel Hall, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Allen Jones, Kitaj, Laing, Paolozzi, Peter Phillips and more

    The only optimistic view that an interested local observer can take of the Whitechapel Gallery’s New British Painting and Sculpture exhibition at UCLA is that it administers a potent shot in the arm to Los Angeles; after a first unedifying run through the show, one comes out at the other end with fresh confidence in the seriousness, originality and refinement of our own vanguard artists.

    Of the seventeen artists represented here, only two—Anthony Caro and Bryan Kneale—suggest a respectable enterprise. Kneale’s Cumae, composed fundamentally of three aluminum discs, two perspex bubbles and a

  • John McCracken, Craig Kauffman, Ed Ruscha and Llyn Foulkes

    In its ten years of existence, the Paris Biennale (Manifestation Biennale et Internationale des jeunes artistes) has incurred a reputation in the United States for ignominy, extending even beyond the prevalent critical tendency here to either ignore or imprecate the international “competitions,” including those at Venice, Sao Paulo and Pittsburgh. In the face of what Max Kozloff has called the “piggish provinces” of the Biennales in general, it is perhaps rhetorical to demand of our U.S. commissioners to the Paris competition that they rise above the aura of provincialism that so often characterizes

  • John Battenberg

    At the Esther-Robles Gallery, John Battenberg’s latest angle on World War I aviation—focusing now more on the machines than on their intrepid pilots—makes for an extraordinarily handsome and impressive display. The pivotal work here is transitional, placing the familiar skeletal cast aluminum flyer within his plane, which. is suspended parallel to the wall on a vertical course. The machine (Full Detail—Fokker Dr 1, 96 x 72”) is given as a truncated section of fuselage and wings around the open cockpit, formed beautifully by stretching canvas tautly over a plywood frame, covering this with

  • Alexander Archipenko

    “Alexander Archipenko: A Memorial Exhibition” is commencing its two-year American tour at U.C.L.A. The 118 sculptures, drawings, lithographs and “sculpto-paintings,” all from the collection of Mrs. Archipenko, provide a broad retrospective view of this remarkable Cubist sculptor’s output from 1908 until his death in 1964. One feels, in fact, that it is a virtually complete view. His four or five principal related directions are each represented with numerous examples. There is less a sense of fecundity, or of unconsummated experimental ideas than of finished, superbly facile quality in spite of

  • Helen Frankenthaler

    Seven stained canvases by Helen Frankenthaler are at Nicholas Wilder. Each painting makes positive use, to a greater or lesser degree, of unpainted canvas. Five Color Space (114'' x 75'') employs irregular patches of green, violet, ochre, blue and vermilion around the border to circumscribe a large and insistent white shape. The edges are rough and occasionally fuzzy, but their chief function is to delineate. The paint is relatively opaque, though there are, in all these works, impurities within the color masses. In Five Color Space, the violet paint is partially diluted and has a soft, dappled

  • Carl Andre

    Carl Andre’s biggest, newest floor sculpture is at Dwan. It is made of 1,232 uniform grey concrete bricks, each 7 5/8'' x 15 5/8'' x 1 1/8". They form a huge, room-sized rectangle with eight un-uniform rectangular islands created by the absence of bricks. It is called Cuts, and it is meant to be walked on. It is quite literally an environment. It is not a space: it is a place. It is delimited and defined as an accessible entity not by its outer edges but by the islands in its interior. People don’t stand in the islands.

    The materiality of this work transcends itself. The fact that large quantities

  • James Weeks

    James Weeks’s recent late-afternoon paintings of figures, still lifes and landscapes at Felix Landau are at the same time serene, totally objective and nostalgic. He builds his compositions with solid planes of color, choosing subjects—figures at a piano, bare groupings of geometric still-life objects—which are inherently free of complicated detail. Their overall structural character is analogous to a wooden puzzle perfectly fitted together. The austere framework is secondary, however, to their luminous and chromatic qualities. In Large Park Landscape a thick, beautifully organized clump of

  • Oliver Andrews

    Junk sculpture is no longer necessarily funky. There is now such a thing as refined junk, or semi-junk. Oliver Andrews’s latest work at David Stuart has acquired the clean surfaces of the current reductive movement and its offshoots. The similarity, however, is no more than skin-deep. Most of Andrews’s sculptures are complex and ambiguous. He employs Anthony Caro’s trick of juggling planes and lines in space, deliberately avoiding any obvious geometric parallels. For instance, Ra has only three components and it is not especially large. But it is difficult to take in at a glance because from

  • 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

  • Bernard Cohen

    Bernard Cohen has at least temporarily set aside his fragile, semi-Surreal figural mode (represented here last year in a series of drawings) to experiment in lyrical color and abstract shapes and patterns. His twenty-two tiny acrylics (about 4'' x 6'') at Ceeje. are surely conceived more in the spirit of experimentation than as matter for lasting preoccupation. They obviously call for close-range scrutiny, and one is reminded, if not for the first time, of the astonishing power of scale alone to control modes of visual apprehension. There is a certain immediate attractiveness in these delicate