reviews

  • Robert Motherwell

    Pasadena Art Museum

    Robert Motherwell, Pasadena Art Museum. This is the first retrospective exhibition Motherwell has had in the United States. It is a fact in which Southern Californians can take pride. Director Leavitt deserves credit for his enterprise in arranging the exhibition and for bringing the artist to the West Coast for a chaotic, witty and human lecture to overflowing crowds at the Pasadena Museum. An attractive catalog to the exhibition with tributes by Leavitt, Frank O’Hara, Sam Hunter and Barbara Guest arouses some deserved excitement for the man and his art. An excerpt reprinted from Art in America

    Read more
  • “Painted Papers: Watercolors from Dürer to our Times”

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    Timed to open simultaneously with the inauguration of the new Sterling Morton Wing, “Painted Papers” is an almost heroic attempt to survey the history of watercolor painting in the Western world over practically the past half millennium. Included in this vast retrospection are well over 150 works assembled from the museum’s own holdings as well as distinguished public and private collections throughout the United States. General Curator William Hesthal is responsible for the enormous task of organizing the exhibition, and for writing an excellent introduction to the handsomely illustrated catalog.

    Read more
  • Ruth Asawa

    Ankrum Gallery

    Ruth Asawa is a San Francisco sculptor who is enjoying her first Los Angeles one-man show at the Ankrum Gallery. Miss Asawa’s hanging wire basket forms have become a familiar standby in important national sculpture shows during the past few years. She shapes wire mesh into bulbous nodes which taper into neck forms and widen again into nodes reminiscent of oriental paper lanterns. Oftentimes a series of organic growth forms in a brassy wire will integrate with another in a contrasting tone to create a continuous counterpoint of both linear and formal invention. In other cases Miss Asawa explodes

    Read more
  • Arthur Secunda

    Ankrum Gallery

    Arthur Secunda is a painter in his mid-thirties holding his first one-man show in Los Angeles at the Ankrum Gallery during April. He demonstrates an enormous interest in the oil medium through a vigorous impasto manner which pays its respects to a number of 20th century leaders. An early canvas, Still Life, 1961, is worked in slab-like areas of heavy pigment in a de Stael like application. Market by the Sea, 1962, shows a Hofmannesque paint welter. Bissiere is suggested by Vineyard, 1962. Reflections of Venice, 1962, reveals a paraphrase of the border forms and paint handling of Georges Rouault’s

    Read more
  • Group Exhibition

    Paul Kantor Gallery

    Works by leading exponents of abstract-expressionism including Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell, Guston, Gottlieb, Baziotes and Rothko. The sole California contribution is a powerful early non-objective Diebenkorn painted with Gorky-like passion which time may prove to be one of the most important works of those shown. Pollock’s No. 19, executed in 1948, is an open painting on a sparse white field delicately daubed with pale, gentle colors enclosed by restrained, lyrical black drips. It is a symbolic affirmation of the freedom enjoyed by today’s artists. A small oil by de Kooning is a typical

    Read more
  • Sam Amato

    Frank Perls Gallery

    Recent paintings by one of the Southland’s outstanding artists are in a transitional stage of blooming from flat, rich, decorative, bejeweled, Persian-like tapestries to a Goyesque drama and a sophisticated re-discovery of deep space. This is especially evident in Moroccan Woman. Most paintings are based on a similar Algerian theme that preoccupied Delacroix and there is even something (only a tamer version) of the same deft brushwork. Amato is not kidding in these romantic pictures. Though he dresses his odalisques in colorful brocades their bland expressions evoke forceful images of forsaken

    Read more
  • Felice Canonico

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    Somber, monochromatic paintings executed in a complicated technical manner,—canvas stretched over glued cardboard and other materials over-painted with tonal dye-like washes,—resemble dark, classical rubbings. The result suggests memories of ash-covered ancient ruins. Canonico’s works are really collage-paintings, simultaneously possessing the crispness of assemblages and the chiaroscuro variety of depth of, say, an abstract Caravaggio. Much of their strength comes from this formal ambiguity of 3-dimensionality and illusory flat design. His forms summon up reliquary images which, in a peculiar

    Read more
  • William Waldren

    Dwan Gallery

    Off-white colored polyester and plaster painted over an armature of chicken-wire in mounds of deep relief by this American artist living in Mallorca exude tremendous power. Their poetry is mysteriously elusive but unmistakable; vast wastelands are dynamically pock-marked with eruptive anatomical fissures suggesting a kind of erotic landscape. One senses a feeling of timelessness which transcends technical description from these contemplative reliefs. They give the impression of having survived some significant primordial experience and it seems only by that miracle that these unique images appear

    Read more
  • Vernon Fimple

    Parsons Gallery

    One of the most peculiar and unique artists on the West Coast, Fimple exposes the sins of society by producing private fantasies based on legendary happenings. Dressed in a kind of “magic-realism,” his drones of tiny people are shown reacting to the coming of Judgement Day. His epic paintings, such as In View of God, speak an eloquent formal language via skillful, methodical, minuscule detail, monumental design and a fascinating theatrical sense of drama. At a time when most artists consciously avoid such things, his literary moralism comes as a refreshing kick in the pants.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • MacKinley Helm Collection

    Esther Bear Gallery, San­ta Barbara

    A distinguished ensemble of Italian, Mexican, English, Irish and French works in all mediums representing a catholic taste as far as style is concerned, these works reflect the selective perception of a noted author and collector. Accumulated over the past 30 years, the collection includes fine examples by Dufy, Rouault, Siqueiros and Merida. Outstanding pictures by lesser known artists such as Emilio Greco, Tancredi and others show Dr. Helm to be a consistently sensitive collector whose activities are guided by personal belief and taste rather than the many other reasons people do this sort of

    Read more
  • Edward Keinholz

    Ferus Gallery

    This talented artist has taken over the entire Ferus Gallery to glorify an obsessive, theatrically effective not always formally satisfying but unreservedly tasteful and sophisticated replica of a 1943 American house of ill repute complete with Madame, juke box, fusty couches and cheap movie magazines. The total impact is something less than sensational but his old-maidish preoccupation with minutiae marks him as an outstanding (though a bit chaste) renderer of historical documentation. As such his tableau may be considered a smashing success. As an artistic happening however only the few actual

    Read more
  • Robert Andrew Parker, Marguerite Stix

    Raymond Burr Gallery

    Parker’s free stylized watercolors are illustrations of dramatic allegories. An impeccable draftsman, he nonetheless wavers on the border of banality because of his rather slick, “perfect” brushwork and super-dextrous facility. Occasionally he comes through, apparently despite himself, with a performance of vitality unhampered by virtuosity. The ingratiating sureness of these pictures’ execution is difficult to deny, and their remarkable sensuousness is pleasing to the eye if not to the mind or the heart. Miss Stix’s bronzes of heads, figures and animals are lumpy caricatures more amusing than

    Read more
  • “Some Hard Edge Painters”

    Los Angeles Art Association

    An excellently assembled small survey of paintings by Florence Arnold, Max Bailey, Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Fred Hammersley, Cliff Harmon, June Harwood, Helen Lundeberg, Thomas McCray, John McLaughlin and Eva Slater, representing some of the best “hard edge” work being produced on the West Coast. A surprising number of these pictures show the influence of the external world, and not a few are clearly interpretations of literal “subject matter.” Within the limitations set by themselves these artists display a prodigious variety of mood and character. Of particular note are oils by Feitelson,

    Read more
  • Jack Stuck

    Comara Gallery

    Showing a large series of self-portraits, Stuck proves himself an extremely capable improviser on the theme of himself. Varied moods, colors, structures and atmospheres set the diverse scenes for the more or less same seated nude profile figure purportedly representing the artist. The impact of his versatility makes an urgent and immediate contact. Smudged charcoal lines in an oil is handled with clarity and discretion, while decorative patterns are startlingly evocative, painted with a surprising degree of technical facility and sensitivity to the picture surface. Stuck’s drawings are as good

    Read more
  • Lillian Delevoryas

    Sabersky Gallery

    Evocative black and white linear patterns in both her woodcuts and drawings prove Miss Delevoryas to be as competent technically as she is adroit in achieving dramatic effects through the juxtaposition of large decorative shapes in the form of trees and other aspects of nature. Her intricately designed graphics show the healthy influence of her Japanese sojourn and always display the epitome of taste. When working with pen and ink she is most poetic, sensitively restraining her line and meaningfully understating her versatility.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Carl Morris

    Feingarten Galler­y

    Richly textured configurations of great natural phenomena are the subjects in these oils by one of the West Coast’s leading artists. Morris’ recent works represent a development towards more abundant, glowing, refined, crystallized color and surfaces that tingle with the organic weave of sensuously applied pigment. Rock, earth, air and growth assume the characteristics of elements which are very much alive, and are part of a remarkable universe of still, timeless, rudimentary matter. Morris is the only artist of note who comes to mind as the one dedicated and unashamed interpreter of the essence

    Read more
  • Teresa Rudowicz, Marian Warzecha

    Gallery de Silva, Santa Barbara

    A husband and wife couple from contemporary Poland show highly distinctive and proficient collages made up from scraps of old letters and other memorabilia. Their respective styles are as developed and sophisticated as almost any contemporary art in any country. Miss Rudowicz’s work is strangely stark and bold with fresh watercolor blotted effortlessly into key dynamic positions. Warzecha is a trifle more refined, subdued, profound, and aware of formal purity. Both are excellent artists and rate more extensive showings in the future.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • William Hesthal

    Gallery de Silva, Santa Barbara

    Small abstractions, some circular; are executed with great skill and verve. They are made up of a kind of nervous scribbling out of which sense, and in some cases a literal subject, makes itself known. Hesthal’s frenetic lines wander in search of and discover meanings through their complex inter-relationships. Free of affectation, he conceals nothing—neither the mental hesitations nor the tentative trains of thought,—graphically revealing the entire metamorphosis from conception to the finally evolved statement.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Leon Saulter, Bernard Dietz

    Hale Gallery

    Saulter’s welded sculpture twirls upwards momentarily hesitating among rococo spirals and jagged recesses. The large pieces resemble awful weapons whose visual impact is one of ominousness and fear. Paintings by the same artist are hotly emotional figure fantasies given formal meaning by black drippings. Dietz uses pastey local colors in his ocean and figure subjects and achieves highly keyed if not always satisfying chiaroscuro effects of dynamic intensity.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Lee Hill

    Ryder Gallery

    A series of oils, most of which were originally inspired by Kabuki dancers and various other aspects of Japanese folklore, are painted in heavy impasto with the help of a marble aggregate lending a mat but juicy richness to many of the predominantly white subjects. Miss Hill’s work is characterized by this leaning towards relief effects and an unsophisticated use of raw color.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Serge Diakonoff

    Ernest Raboff Gallery

    This 29 year old Swiss artist’s crisp, transparent-thin paintings display a sometimes too refined palette and preoccupation with technical perfection. His small oils on paper have that European finish about them which can make pictures appear frigid. There is nevertheless a certain intimate graphic charm about their synthetic-cubist forms and the rather sensitive economic simplicity with which he creates order in a single image.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Jean Tinguely

    Everett Ellin Gallery

    Joyous madness best describes the activities at Ellin’s Sunset Strip Gallery during this Swiss sculptor’s exhibition of electrically-activated machinery. His creations are monstrous yet tender, vulgar yet childlike; some squeal, rattle, and knock while others sing and dance. The works come to life only in motion and communicate with irrepressible urgency to even the most anti-anti-artist. In his unique way Tinguely has captured the hearts of literally hundreds of Angelenos despite themselves.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Franco Assetto

    Esther Robles Gallery

    Visually powerful ceramic-like relief paintings in impasto acid-bitten aluminum aggregate with brilliant, flaming colors are reminiscent of jazzy carnival decorations or Venetian pageants. The artist sculpts his painting with hard-edge forms creating objects rather than pictures. They appear to be intellectually inspired and executed despite their seeming freedom and flashiness. But the result is a happy, almost joyous celebration of one man’s discovery of form and color.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Guy Anderson

    Michel Thomas Galleries

    Prodigious oils executed with uninhibited facility and élan are better than they appear at first sight. Anderson’s idea is big and his enclosed figures seem to beg for more space, air, scale, and attention. The color application is sometimes unattractively dry and lifeless but its saving grace is its freedom and simplicity. There is an unpretentiousness about these paintings (and they are not small) which makes them disarmingly likable despite their crudity and rawness.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Chuck Bowdlear

    Paul Plummer Gallery

    This exhibition is made up largely of loose, colorful tempera and casein still lives whose form is built from tiger stripes of bright yellows, reds and blues. Horse, Cut paper and Space has a fresco brilliance and is an exceptional happy departure from other more self-conscious efforts which generally seem to have come off too easily and gone not quite far enough.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Group Show

    New England Gallery

    A three-woman exhibition of figurative oils featuring Vivian Guedel, Margaret Hehman, and Li Chen shows each to be a competent and sensitive artist. Misses Guedel and Hehman utilize strident expressionist brush work and color in executing free landscape, still life and figure themes. Miss Chen’s work is characterized by subtlety and a strong sense of decorative, formal order.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Group Show

    Kramer Gallery

    A lively but uneven group exhibition made up of works by Mabel Alvarez, Alexander Nepote, Aimee Bourdieu and Jonathon Scott shows Miss Bourdieu as the most personal and poetic artist in the gallery’s stable. Her pink and yellow abstraction, Relational Space, is full of spark, life and painterly qualities of unusual richness and charm.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Jean Busquets

    Acosta Gallery

    Unpretentious charm and a delicate, selective, personal interpretation of Old World vie en rose keynote these “primitive” views of Paris by a dedicated French artist. Painting with loving care, Busquets makes meaningful formal arrangements out of gardens and street scenes that liken the effects of his work to a lush bouquet.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • George Rickey

    Primus-Stuart Galleries

    Activated by natural air currents, Rickey’s mobiles are more formal and complex than Calder’s, but they have the same organic strength. The silent movements of their metallic strands motivate an evocative nature-mystique. Piece for piece this may well be the best exhibition by a contemporary artist seen on La Cienega Boulevard this season.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • James Hale

    Paul Rivas Gallery

    Highly stylized small steel, copper and bronze sculpture of extraordinary vitality has a built-in forceful dynamic exuding struggle and anxiety. Hale’s Woman Drying Hair is monumentally conceived and pays mystical homage to feminine gesture and grace.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more
  • Ernest Lacy

    Heritage Gallery

    Unrefined yellowish landscapes and figures in a complex backward limbo are confused somewhere along the way between Michelangelo, Cézanne, and Reginald Marsh.

    Arthur Secunda

    Read more