John Reuschel

  • Edward Kienholz

    Kienholz continues to construct his commentary on the nature of love in our time. You’d have thought the “Illegal Operation” sufficient to give his protagonists pause. But now they’re sprawled through heaven and hell and the space in between and Kienholz’ mixture of hardnose and elegance singles them out, unforgettably, being born, loving in a car, or lying side by side having brightly lit thoughts of each other (because they’re plugged into the same outlet). These works are truly delightful in a nerve-wracking sort of way, and Kienholz’s control of a tremendous vocabulary of beat-up cars,

  • “Gallery Selections”

    This show seems to be a more or less haphazard selection from works on hand. It contains uncharacteristic older pieces by well-known names (i.e. Hans Hofmann’s Provincetown), works old and newer by other well-known artists which are absolutely characteristic either of a total career or of an important phase of it (Pierre Soulages, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Marino Marini, Lyonel Feininger, Sam Francis, Marsden Hartley) and an indifferent range of works by local artists whose presence can only be explained on the basis of parochial loyalty. In this category (featherbedding) one might mention the

  • “Twentieth Century Latin American Naive Art”

    This large show of Haitian, Cuban, and South American so-called primitive painting and sculpture, with its concerns and methods so different from those we ordinarily encounter, is certainly the most impressive such exhibition to be assembled on the West Coast in recent memory. It poses certain problems of definition. To call “primitive” all this stylization of odd animals in brilliant grasses, or these religious objects swarming through scenes that are really minds naive, is merely to define primitive and naive as meaning narrative. Every piece in the show is telling a story, funny or serious,

  • Paul Sarkisian

    Small collages of photos, paint, reproductions, roofing tarpaper coherently and vivaciously put together. Although this artist shares the found-image collectors’ tendency toward the talkative, this show has many splendors.

    This exhibition, which was scheduled to run a month in the Art Center’s one-man gallery, was closed a week early. The official explanation was that the space was needed for other purposes. This is an odd but plausible reason for terminating a show. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the real one. In several of the exhibited works cutouts of nudes were juxtaposed with fragments of religious

  • Fred Holle

    This show evidences a considerable shaking up of the thinking of this always interesting painter. His previously restrained and secretive surfaces have been loosened, the brushwork has become more overt, and there’s an introduction of whimsical creatures and pieces of scenery and delight. A refreshing and outspoken exhibition by a changing artist, that uncommon bird.

    John Reuschel

  • “Twentieth Century Realism Number Four”

    This is all like an old photo album. It is only of interest to members of the immediate family. It’s a little embarrassing to see it spread through several rooms.

    Without exception these artists deny, by their practice, that there has been any seeing done in this century. There is no question that each of them is competent to actualize his vision. There is of course no question of any painter’s sincerity. It just seems so strange to see all these eyes frozen in time. The artists do vary a bit in their definitions of reality. Robert Vickery paints the outside of what he sees as exactly as he can,

  • “Art and the Atom”

    A show with a title “Art and the Atom,” a sponsor, the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, and, avowedly, a purpose, to use fine art to assist in the recruitment of brains. There are so many things involved in a show of this sort. First of all you wonder if any of the works did pull any brains out West. If it did, of course it was successful. But now it’s being sent around for all to see, and all the original admonishments should be forgotten (but they still dominate the catalog). It’s now a museum show, and not a very good one at that. But it does have some surprises. For one thing everyone is

  • Bruce Barton and Al Sarvis

    Bruce Barton’s work illustrates again the central (and often commented on) problem of the San Francisco figure painters: how to install two vastly different paintings in one rectangle. Although this gives the best examples of the school an exquisite nervousness, it’s really a risky business. It’s like drinking sea water. Only once in a while does a person get away with it. Barton works strongly and occasionally elegantly in this mode, and although he never seems to come up with the big painting, there is never a lot of mere gesture either. Neither he nor Al Sarvis, who shows some art school

  • Joseph Nyiri

    Nyiri works very competently and freely within the tradition of welded sculpture, eschewing gimmicks and obviously believing in what he’s doing. Even his tendency to overwork his surfaces springs from a commendable concern with making, rather than merely accepting. He could be a little more ruthless with the space he expropriates, and more restless, but these are not matters sufficient to vitiate the overall impression of solidity his work conveys. In Cytology of a Whale, he does get restless under the constraints of mere physics, and effects a truly telling and passionate piece. It will be

  • Fourth Annual of California Painting and Sculpture

    The La Jolla Art Center’s annual show, although short on history, was on its way to becoming an important annual event. Open to all, and juried by men artists could accept as competent to eliminate the worthless or frivolous, it has been characteristically excellent. This year’s show consists of two parts. First, an invitational section of twenty-six selected by three-man juries in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Then an open juried section in which a team formed by one man from each of the area juries ruled on the admissibility of the several hundred entries submitted. This second

  • Ken Starbird

    Twenty-six pieces of stoneware sculpture consisting of various concatenations of thrown, pulled, built, and cut elements, glazed and unglazed. Interesting at the craft level but evidencing little conceptual vigor or ability to qualify the comfortable perimeters of studio pottery.

    John Reuschel

  • Sam Francis

    This is an important show because it’s Sam Francis’s work, and it is also somewhat unsatisfactory for the same reason. Of course the élan and virtuosity that characterize him always are here, and his delight in making objects the eye can live on. Maybe that’s enough. But seeing the 20 or so prints shown here is like watching an exhibition baseball game. All the skills run around and make some great plays, but it really doesn’t matter who wins. To say this is not to say that a man should have a new look every once in a while, but only that respect for a big man is lessened when one catches him