Joan Hugo

  • I. H. Prinzmetal

    The work of Prinzmetal seems to pose the problem, common to many painters, of what to paint after one has learned how to paint. The work is competent enough, but uncommunicative and Prinzmetal’s interest seems to wander. The painter’s eye is reflective, but it is not enough simply to mirror surroundings—he must make them seem important or make his way of seeing important. In short, one must be convinced that there is a reason for his painting. The work here is good enough so that one wishes it were better.

    Joan Hugo

  • James Pinto

    Luminous, lyric landscapes done over the past several years reveal a preoccupation with natural forces and moods. The works tend toward an oversimplification, perhaps because shapes are neatly arranged along a horizon, with little concern for intervening space. Approaching Storm, in which the shapes are more loosely arranged, is more successful. The still lifes are more dynamic, the point of view is different, perhaps because the space is enclosed. Here, as in the drawings, the concern is for surface rather than form.

    Joan Hugo

  • Group Show

    A be­wildering show of paintings in a recently opened gallery in Hollywood, bewilder­ing because of the uneven quality of the work and a certain earnest desire to express ideas not always clearly de­fined. The artists exhibiting are, in order: Alma, whose quasi-naive paint­ings recall folk-painting on glass or pottery; Alvarez, a non-objective painter who seems to lean heavily on Orphism and Pure Plastic Art; Bush, whose work resembles the aerial views it depends on; Lesly, a designer in the style of Atlan; Penny; Ryan; Bosco Tatich, a painter in the Expressionist mode with affinities for

  • “Californians Collect Californians”

    The perennial problem facing the “non-professional” collector, i.e., the collector who is moved more by personal pleasure than by considera­tions of reputation, historical curiosity or wise investment, is that he feels obliged to “live with” the things he collects rather than simply store them conveniently. Paintings collected with these problems in mind tend toward an “Intimism” which is understandable; thus the paintings assembled here re­flect a certain caution on the part of the owners. Few, if any, could be con­sidered disquieting confrontations. Rather than confront, the paintings here

  • Norman Weiner

    Com­petent, sometimes lively drawings and glassy paintings record Mr. Weiner’s recent trip to Europe and the Mediter­ranean. The paintings are curious, like enamels or varnished collages, and one feels he would be more at home solv­ing design problems. As for the draw­ings, they are in the current style of illustrated articles about trips to far-off places; they are the sort of thing which swelled the notebooks and diaries of well-educated travellers in the days be­fore the camera. Now that most people take pictures, it is refreshing to find someone who will make them––but they remain part of

  • Nicolai Fechin

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to evaluate the work of some­one like Fechin, who worked with ap­parent disregard for the developments in art during his lifetime and seemed to pursue an already predictable direction. To dismiss the work as academic is really not fair, since academic refers only to the conservatism of a previous generation and may be superseded by new academicisms in time. Yet, for a man who was a contemporary of Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keefe, John Marin (to name some of the Americans with whom he was in contact during his years in Taos) and of Picasso and Ben­nard, to

  • Robert Mullen

    Robert Mullen seems undecided about two basic sculptural possibilities––­whether to “occupy” or “enclose” space. The polished wooden sculptures tend toward the static monumentality of dol­men and occupy space as highly defined closed forms in spatial relationship with each other. The other sculpture encloses capsules of space more organically; shapes spring from a central core like spiral leaf-growth patterns or coral outcroppings, with much more emphasis on textural effect.

    While no sculptor is under any obli­gation to repeat himself (quite the con­trary) one feels that indecision leads to

  • “Surrealists”

    “The art of painting, as I conceive of it, consists in representing through pictorial techniques the unforseen images that might appear to me at certain moments, whether my eyes are open or shut.”

    —René Magritte.

    It is these unforseen images which dominate a small but rewarding show at Rex Evans, which also includes work by some contemporary proponents of the unforseen: Phillip Curtis, Thomas Blackwell, Douglas McFadden, Allan Blizzard, Guido Biasi, and, especially interesting, Gerrie Gutman, whose doll-like, owlish women somehow recall the work of Leonor Fini. Two small “pebble-scrapes” by Yves

  • Berthe Morisot

    Delicate, charming, the pastels and drawings by Berthe Morisot are things of beauty and a joy to behold. Currently in disfavor, pastel as a medium was much admired by the color-sensitive Impressionists, whose skill with it was dazzling. Berthe Morisot was a sensitive, even brilliant draftsman; the line is firm, the faces full of light. Some of the sketches were preliminary studies for paintings, others are quick notes to record an attitude or gesture. Her own daughter, as well as other children frequently served as models for these perceptive sketches. As Elizabeth Mongan says in the catalog to

  • Bertil Vallien

    The ceramic sculpture of Bertil Vallien, although small in scale, achieves a certain sense of monumentality through an understanding of proportion, form, and the play of light and shadow. He is faithful to the medium, yet able to subordinate craftsmanship to serve a sculptural, rather than a utilitarian or destructive end. This may seem obvious, but so much ceramic work remains on one or the other level, and so much current ceramic sculpture is willfully self-conscious, that it is refreshing to find someone who is willing to accept the limitations of the medium and achieve something in his own

  • Anya Fisher

    Anya Fisher’s paintings, though competent and colorful, seem undecided between form and line. Her written statements dwell on concepts of “the organic.” Perhaps her work would gain authority by a simplification, which would permit form to dominate her painting as it does her thought.

    Joan Hugo