PRINT January 1971

Joseph Raffael, Carlos Villa, Hank Gobin

JOSEPH RAFFAEL AND CARLOS VILLA (both recently emigrated from New York back to California) have been working with notions of an art that will invoke a strong spiritual aura and an atmosphere of magic or ritual. (In New York, Nancy Graves has developed her sculpture along similar lines; see Artforum, October, 1970.) This inevitably leads back to, or parallels the ways one must look at the arts of primitive cultures, relearning a process of seeing, with the unrationalized openness and trust of a child or a member of those older civilizations. By association, this attitude links Raffael to Gauguin; or also to some of the French Symbolists, whose disturbing, poetic imagery came out of dreams and drug-induced visions. It causes Villa to look at the artist as one whose lineage can be traced back to the shamans, medicine men, and tribal designers who produced the artifacts of early cultures. Both

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