Los Angeles

“Simon Rodia’s Towers at Watts”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

This extensive photographic survey, sponsored by the Committee for Simon Rodia’s Towers and the Contemporary Arts Council of the County Museum, is comprised of superb documents of one of the most unusual artistic achievements in American history. Photographer Seymour Rosen is responsible for most of the scores of excellent pictures on display. The entire presentation is a delight, and considerably extends one’s experience in understanding Sam Rodia’s fantastic masterpiece. A catalog, published by the museum, contains many excellent black and white color reproductions and a lengthy descriptive narrative by Paul Laporte of the history of the Towers. The unnecessarily jazzy installation by John Espinoza leaves something to be desired. In particularly bad taste is a section where hundreds of fragments of these fine photographs are assembled pell-mell in a haphazard attempt at setting new Hollywood interior decorator design standards. The intrinsic quality of the photographs, thank goodness, overcome all such hazards, and tell their profoundly moving story beautifully and directly.

Arthur Secunda