Los Angeles

Charles Garabedian, Roberto Chavez, Edward Carrillo and Louis L. Lunetta

Ceeje Gallery

Who is the ghoul with the illuminated head under the table with the skull, the mirror and the cross? Why is a reclining nude raising her right arm in benediction? What do the headless dummies represent? Who is “Tommy the Episcopalian?” Why is the man in the top hat crawling out of a manhole with a pingpong racquet? Who are the Tokyo Joes; the odd Christ figures; the ladies in shower caps smoking cigars; the missionaries with space helmets? What is the significance of the old G.I. shoe prominently placed in a quartet portrait? Whose idea was the painting on the knife and the Peanuts comic strip in a still life?

These are just a few of the unanswerable questions presented at a bang-up, knock-down exhibition of paintings by Charles Garabedian, Roberto Chavez, Edward Carrillo and Louis L. Lunetta at the new Ceeje Gallery on La Cienega. It matters little that the re-incarnated echoes of Chagall, Derain, Beckmann, Munch, etc., are well-spiced into this blazing ragout; what is important is that this ensemble makes up the most exciting, fiercest, most vital debut of any art gallery opening here within recent memory.

La Cienega, replete with summer reruns a-la-TV, is given a healthy shot in the arm which, for a change, produces blood instead of pink ersatz wine. I hope the boys up and down the street take note, and that Ceeje won’t fade into the general obscurity that has been the fate of the other new galleries in the past year. Viva Ceeje.

Arthur Secunda