Los Angeles

“Homage to Georges Braque”

Edgardo Acosta Gallery

This modest tribute to one of the giants of 20th century art on the occasion of his 80th birthday has, like the recent Picasso show at UCLA, been assembled largely from local collections. The exhibition will travel to the Santa Barbara Art Museum during July and August. A handful of key paintings dated 1938–43, plus some two dozen lithographs, provide an exhilarating reminder of Braque’s intuitive genius. “I am not a revolutionary painter,” Braque says, “I do not seek exaltation, fervor is sufficient for me.” Fervor, restraint of the most sensitive sort, the epitome of inspired taste, and candid clarity and simplicity, are in abundant evidence here. Though historians will credit Braque with the discovery of a thoroughly original and personal kind of cubism, it is his extraordinarily refined aptitude for the poetic transformation of nature (which is felt from even his briefest line or most casual texture nuance) that lends his work “life-enchanting” qualities. His lithographs, sparse renderings of birds, mythological heads and still-lives, are pure, unadulterated perceptual events, even, or rather, especially, at this late date in the artist’s life. The paintings, rich still-lives and figures in the artist’s studio, are too well known for comment in 1962, aside from the observation that they convey the impact, the unreserved formal dynamism, and the vital sensation of freshness they always have. And then some.

Arthur Secunda