Los Angeles

Group Show

Michael Thomas Gallery

Ruth Codman, Ruth Erlich, Ray Friesz, James McMenamin and Robert Alan Smith, along with sculptures by Albert Wein. Ruth Erlich’s meaningless black drip line over splotchy shape and color and Ray Friesz’s splattered end papers contribute nothing. James McMenamin does not seem to have resolved the problems of form he has set himself. Ruth Codman’s paintings of nature are successful within the limits she sets herself; the paintings of children much less so (those faces!) and her post-Impressionist color is not bad. Certainly the only real painter here, however, is Robert Alan Smith. Simple forms in a state of flux move across the canvas mutely and obliquely. He handles blacks like Soulages, running a whole gamut of intensity, achieving great depth. The quality of the paint is sparing, sure, economical, dense.

Joan Hugo