Jane Livingston

  • “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

  • Antony Donaldson

    At Nicholas Wilder, British painter Antony Donaldson is showing six of the canvases executed during his year’s stay in Los Angeles. Donaldson has looked hard at the ornate insides of our ubiquitous ’30s movie houses; he has responded to Lichtenstein’s backward glance to the same era; and he can’t have missed the move into so-called “Abstract Illusionism,” particularly as manifested in the recent painting of Miriam Schapiro. But his is not merely one more case of a young English artist shaping one or another current American fashion into an uninspired esthetic commodity; he is an ambitious,

  • Sam Richardson

    Sculptor Sam Richardson, showing at the Esther-Robles Gallery, deserves more than one might grant him, considering only his most recent and most ambitious Real Estate, which is really a project rather than a “piece.” It is composed of 16 square-foot plots of rolling terrain, made of smooth cast epoxy. The segments that include (besides grassy green surface) furrowed ground, removable plastic puddles or even part of the bifurcated foam cloud will be thought more desirable than the squares of unembellished acreage. Thus their holders, when the project has finally gone to separate hands, will rate

  • Anthony Berlant

    Anthony Berlant attained a measure of notoriety during his inveterate tinkering phase (with patterned metal scraps fashioned into noisome little reliquaries). This obsession, worshipful as it was of the puerile and the innocent, seemed affecting only after having witnessed the artist absorbed among his rusty collections of trivia, looming in piles from cookie tins. The process of gathering, clipping, editing and assembling his inane materials contained more animus than the finished results, whether merely whimsical (as most were) or didactically pretentious (the wargames). Obviously this was

  • 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

  • Recent Work by Craig Kauffman

    IN HIS NEW WORK, Craig Kauffman has made a seemingly subtle but definitive break with his own past. He continues to make plastic wall supported “paintings,” and his work must be viewed as belonging to a prevalent trend among Los Angeles artists. The most patent deviation from his previous manner is simply the elimination of iconic detail: he appears, in other words, merely to have moved in a familiar direction toward formal simplification, rejecting identifiable mannerisms in favor of unembellished, multiply-produced objects. However, within a format which is apparently freer of the artist’s

  • 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