reviews

  • Horst Gottschalk

    Museum Of Art, Santa Barbara

    It seems only a coincidence that Gottschalk’s collages overlapped the exhibit of Dole’s work. More excitement would have been generated if the shows were more closely related in time and space, since each has considerable merit, if for opposite reasons. Gottschalk’s collages are virile, forcefully executed works, filled with a bursting vitality. A native of Hanover, Germany, now living in Berkeley, Gottschalk integrates his paper and paint skillfully with unity and balance. His pictures are illuminated with shaved planes of light—something like Feininger—that are curiously independent of his

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  • Recent Acquisitions and Gallery Artists

    Edgardo Acosta Gallery

    Mr. Acosta has something of a potpourri of artists represented in his Recent Acquisitions and Gallery Artists exhibition. Introducing the show are a handsome Modigliani Portrait d’une Jeune Femme (1917–1918) and a fine Braque Nature Morte of 1943. There are three Dufy paintings: La Baie de Ste. Addresse (oil, 1924) holds the usual charm of rich color and casual calligraphy; Bateaux (watercolor, 1924) has less freedom; Baigneusses (gouache and pastel) is a playful reference to Matisse’s Dance in which Dufy translates the Bacchanalian circle of celebrants into buoyant swimmers. There is an excellent

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  • Camille Blair

    Sari Heller Gallery

    The rules of thumb for the “primitive” in our decade seem to be: 1. apply colors in flat patterns; 2. use “unnatural” perspective; 3. be slightly clumsy with your brush, just enough to appear “craftsy”; 4. be tight; 5. be as unsophisticated as a child in a sophisticated adult world. Miss Blair’s small, intimate oils easily fall into this category. At worst they are witty little corner drug store scenes, folksy snow scenes, and virgins-in-the-park scenes; at best they are unobjectionable fun.

    ––Arthur Secunda

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  • Jean Dubuffet

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    The nearly 200 works by Jean Dubuffet shown at the Los Angeles County Museum through mid-August constitute the largest and most comprehensive examination of the painter’s art ever undertaken. This important exhibition was organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and will be seen only in Chicago and Los Angeles. Dubuffet is a controversial and fascinating artist with a major European reputation. It is unfortunate that other western cities will not be favored by a visit from this definitive study. An exhaustive catalog with writings by the artist and Mr. Peter Selz, the show’s organizer,

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  • “101 Masterpieces of American Primitive Painting”

    Municipal Art Galleries

    Sponsored by the Municipal Art Patrons in association with the American Federation of Arts, the Garbisch Collection makes available a comprehensive study of American primitive painting of the 18th and 19th centuries. It allows us to stop and ask why American primitive painting has grown in popularity in the past decade, to become a national fad. There are undoubtedly many reasons that are extraneous to a consideration of the art works themselves but there are also valid reasons that are related directly to this folk art. Undeniably, it presents a social and cultural history—a purpose served by

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  • Group Show

    Dwan Gallery

    A most serious group show has been hung by the Dwan, providing a lift and a celebration of art whose example other Southern California galleries could hopefully emulate. Most participants are big stars in a game of all-stars, and in at least several cases, extraordinary works are on view even for those by whom extraordinary works are not uncommon. Robert Motherwell, for example, is represented by a strange small contribution entitled Monument to Jackson Pollock, which atypically renders a heart-full of shimmering orange-fuzzy, autumnal heat as bizarre as it is uniquely moving. Jean Tinguely,

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  • “Elements of Modern Art”

    Laguna Beach Art Association

    As part of its commendable effort to widen its scope of influence and serve the community as a vital educational institution, the Laguna Beach Art Association has used its Entresol gallery to present an exhibition from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The show, “Elements of Modern Art,” circulated by the American Federation of Arts, is selected and arranged to present contemporary art expression to the lay public in meaningful terms. A bulletin prepared by Thomas M. Messer is available. In it and in the statements accompanying the exhibition, the elements of representation,

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  • William Dole

    Museum Of Art, Santa Barbara

    Dole’s recent collages are the subject of his fourth one-man show in the Museum of Art. His bits and pieces of paper, mostly of exotic origin, gain an intrinsic value when passed through his hands. He apparently banks them as some do money, with miserly glee, and is correspondingly sparing and economical in their use. The papers, varying from ricepaper thinness to the heft of solid rag, were ordinary once, but only in their individual context. Dole understandably regards them as collectors’ items and he arranges them meticulously, surely, and with tortuous consideration. Japanese calligraphy

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  • Group Exhibition

    Esther Bear Gallery

    Paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints are included in this exhibition of representative works by some members of the gallery stable. They are Margaret Ash, Leonard Baskin, William Brice, Morris Broderson, Thomas Cornell, William Dole, Rico Lebrun, Miguel Marina, Robert Thomas and Howard Warshaw. Thomas’ new bronzes, cast in his own foundry, at UCSB, are elongated, tapering, tower-like, reliquary forms with subtle turns and twists which spiral upward in Gothic thrusts. Some have crosses affixed, with organic figure images growing out of them like wings, while others seem to fuse into nothingness

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  • Ejnar Hansen

    L. A. Art Association

    The Hansen retrospective concentrates on his early works (from 1912), many from his years with the Secessionists in Denmark. The Creek, Summer House, and most especially Self Portrait, with its green, face straining forward out of a Munich brown gravy, have a Munch-like intensity and economy of statement. Two works from 1916, Snow in the Forest with its fluent brushwork and smoldering color, and Mrs. F., harsh and German in its drawing but with very rich and complex whites, both show his early capacity to use the medium of oil paint. In some of the middle works shown, this mastery of paint tends

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  • Millard Sheets

    Laguna Beach Art Association

    The large retrospective exhibition of the works of Millard Sheets presents an excellent summary of the many facets of this well-known Southland artist’s work over the past thirty-odd years. Not denying the unity that appears in the expression of any mature artist, one does nevertheless experience some difficulty in attempting to define any single essential aesthetic concern that is fundamental to the artist’s creative exploits. This is not only because Sheets assumes a different aesthetic as he changes media and spheres of activity (painting, drawing, mural and architectural design) but because,

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  • James Yoko and John Olt

    Ramon Lopez Gallery

    Absorbed with the images of reflected light, James Yoko, a Dayton, Ohio painter, is slowly evolving an aesthetic that may in time prove highly effectual. His allegiance is now torn between the experimental uses of collage and the painterly qualities of Monet. The Abstract Impressionist pieces shown date back to 1959 when, as in such canvases as Shadow in a Pool, the artist was working with a short hatching brush stroke that built into vertical rhythms of color, usually complementary, occasionally breaking into a full range of hues. The rhythms continued in subtle variations until in Image of

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  • Jack Hooper

    Primus-Stuart Galleries

    Hooper’s 1961–62 paintings borrow little from his earlier work which is one reason for the importance of this exhibition. In earlier shows his technical facility was developing to a point of danger; now his emotional response to abstracted, organic forms make their bid. A catalogue insert speaks favorably of the large canvas collages; but I prefer the series of small, carefully worked studies in balance and penetration. Though Klee-like, I responded to May 1962—No. 1 where two little “dumbells” of opposite sex attract and repel one another in a nautical dance of love. In this work, as in others,

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  • Group Show

    Frank Perls Gallery

    Local artists are joined by three Europeans in a group show at the Frank Perls Gallery. Interest centers on two recent paintings by Sam Amato whose work has been undergoing considerable change of late. Still transitional, Interior With Standing Figure is the more fully realized of the two. Its Fauve pattern has real vitality. William Brice continues his concentration on the figure. Although an excellent draughtsman, there are some painterly passages in his Figures and Sea No. 2 that do not articulate form as consistently as might be desired. There is greater coherence in the frankly romantic

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  • Karl Benjamin

    Museum Of Art, Santa Barbara

    A hard-edge painter, Benjamin carries on in the tradition of de Stijl, a well-traveled road, whose traffic, oddly enough, seems to be increasing of late. His paintings are strikingly delineated with strips of black tape. The form, basically rectangular, is precisely and adventurously thought out, filled with chrome yellows and smoldering blues and greens. Benjamin’s pictures are busier than most of their kind and seem rather ingratiating.

    ––Larry Rottersman

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  • Group Show

    Paul Kantor

    A handsome selection of paintings by four artists associated with the gallery. George Miyasaki is represented by several tastefully menacing oils in which pastel, compartmented forms brood delicately in the center of the canvas. Two paintings by Lee Mullican from 1958 Mirrors and California Landscape show the artist dealing with realistic forms beneath his slatted yellow surfaces, creating a fascinating interplay between two definite planes of focus. A later painting The Burning Bush is less concerned with the literal, concentrating solely on an involved modulation of the yellow splinters for

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  • “Prints and Drawings”

    Zeitlin And Ver Brugge

    An upstairs exhibition of prints and drawings by Italian, French and Flemish minor masters of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries is of more than casual interest. Of particular note are a wash figure grouping by Giovanni-Battista Cipriani (a student of Bartolozzi); a sensuously modeled pen and ink figure study by the sixteenth century Florentine painter-poet-musician-architect, Lodovico Cardi (Cigoli); carefully delineated renderings of hands by the sixteenth century anatomist, Voecher Coiter; and a delicate, imaginative Fantastic Landscape by the seventeenth century Flemish follower of

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  • Fernando Farulli

    Manhattan Galleries

    This last winter Barbara Burke Lang was responsible for bringing the work of the Italian painter Fernando Farulli to the Manhattan Galleries for his first showing in this country. In late September he will be seen again in a one-man exhibition of his most recent drawings and paintings. The half dozen pieces at the gallery now are by far the most interesting works to be seen there. Farulli was born in Florence in 1923. Although he admires Jackson Pollock and has closely observed Picasso, his own spirit is basically humanistic, making him more in accord emotionally with the French Fauves.

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  • Group Show

    Ankrum

    In this exhibit consisting of gallery regulars for the most part, one can discern the nature of the stable being formed at Ankrum. It is a varied group and not one with an easy trademark. Ranging from the draughtsmanly dignity of Broderson to the painterly brio of Burkhardt; from the bluntly humble Schwaderers to the embullient and sensual Frames. Corda wafts delicate landscape forms on paper but Secunda packs paint into paint to create extraordinarily dense canvases. Lazarevich is represented by two cast concrete pieces, Black Musician and Fallen Crusader. Both manage to be sprightly and

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  • Andy Warhol

    Ferus Gallery

    To those of us who grew up during the cream-colored thirties with “Big-Little Books,” “Comic Books,” and a “Johnson and Smith Catalogue” as constant companions; when “good, hot soup” sustained us between digging caves in the vacant lot and having “clod” fights without fear of being tabbed as juvenile delinquents; when the Campbell Soup Kids romped gaily in four colors on the overleaf from the Post Script page in The Saturday Evening Post, this show has peculiar significance. Though, as many have said, it may make a neat, negative point about standardization it also has a positive point to make.

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  • Robert Cremean

    Esther Robles Gallery

    Cremean translates some of his well known and widely accepted wood and fabric sculptures into bronze. In the thumbprint sketches for larger works and in the smaller complete statements there is a dabbled freedom. In the larger works, where the typical straps, laces, and bolts lock the figure into their mutilated mansion settings, one feels that wood and fabric are more honest materials. However, until the newness of the fledgling foundries in the San Francisco area wear off we will probably see more bronze work than we are used to. The wall reliefs offer a better solution than painting to his

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  • Robert Johnson

    Aura Gallery

    The excellent space available in this new artists cooperative gallery in Pasadena accommodates unusually well the large and often very handsome paintings of Robert Johnson. Seldom, outside of a museum, is it possible to view in ease a comprehensive exhibition of this kind. Almost in anticipation of the opportunity to be adequately shown, Robert Johnson seems to have achieved a new maturity and sureness of expression. The thin color he has used for some time flows freely through great relaxed areas of space and the circle form that began to emerge a year or more ago has become a convincing image.

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  • Dennis Burton

    Michel Thomas

    Exuberant oils and oil-collages by this young Canadian show a strong ability for the direct abstract pictorial image. In the most clearly realized works there is an expressionist geometry that bounces irregular versions of simple masses against the order of an implied grid structure to great dramatic effect. Landscapes of Love, and 1492 come off powerfully and in Face Off the scratchy forms suspended at the top of a regular field take on an urgent meaning that reads clearly and is charged with impending action. Taken as a group however, the paintings have an unconvincing diversity, a capricious

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  • “Photography in the Fine Arts, II”

    Museum Of Art, Santa Barbara

    An unfortunate number of the photographs, and there are 176 of them, imitate bad paintings and, worse, slick magazine advertisements. Bad paintings, on the other hand, usually imitate good paintings, and this may be the difference between snapping pictures and painting them. However, according to A. Hyatt Mayor, curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the traveling exhibit originated, and one of the 12 jurors, the crucial difference is something else. He said that no photographer can control the grain and texture of his work as thoroughly as a painter. “A snippet cut out of

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  • Walter Gaudnek

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    Something new in black and white has been added in these weird, rambling, cartoonish fantasies with smiling octupi, stippled daisies, eruptive monsters, sensuous one-eyed mythological creatures, and sundry other unidentifiable sentient “things.” Gaudnek’s heavy-handed dreams-come-to-life feature phallic fairies and hoary Calibans all of whom think they are sun-Gods, and indeed, convince us of their reality. They are not gentle or subtle in the least, these intruders, and might easily be taken for the sex-fantasies of an alcoholic lumberjack in the backwoods, and it is a comment on our society

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  • Jeremy Anderson, Roy De Forest, Sidney Gordin, Leslie Kerr, and Charles Ross

    Dilexi Gallery

    Anderson, Gordin and Ross are sculptors. De Forest and Kerr are painters. Gordin’s small sculptures are silhouettes in metal composed of large and small rods neatly welded and chopped. The larger rods give sturdy, but elevating support to the small ones which are sufficiently springlike to make the pieces “zing” in a lighthearted way. Ross is more roughhouse in his welding techniques and choice of metal parts. Though larger, their conformation somehow suggests a Gordin work launched into faulty orbit, jarring it out of silhouette into 3-D convolutions. The tensions are such that if Central

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  • Enrique Montenegro, Reginald Pollack, James Weeks, and Bryan Wilson

    Felix Landau Gallery

    Wherein four persons of established painting reputation present a pleasing study in low key. In total they produce an atmosphere where the greatest energy expended is in opening the gallery door. Wilson’s Ross Snow Geese is a poignant statement which combines his ornithological zeal with the balance of Okada and an Avery view of life. Weeks’ stark, unpeopled landscapes serve as concrete souvenirs of nature’s monuments. Montenegro leads you out of the cool-dark of a Saturday matinee into a sun blind, fragmented, shopper’s world. Pollack’s sweet poetry exudes violet essences. Like Bryce Canyon,

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  • Group Show

    The Ernest Raboff Gallery

    A show which includes one or two pieces by several better and lesser known artists. A pencil and watercolor view of Topanga Canyon (1954) by Stanton MacDonald-Wright seemed choice. Typical of the work of that period, his sensitive pencil study is brought into spatial action through a series of carefully applied patches of Synchromist color. The small, classically conceived, sculptures and drawings of Moissey Kogan, a noteworthy personality recently rescued from limbo, also demand attention. Lesser known San Franciscan Gregory Gillespie shows a tough, little theater interior with its malignant,

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  • Sheldon Schoneburg

    Raymond Burr

    A handsomely installed series of large drawings that are firmly based on the visual fact. The range of subject and approach is considerable, running from the heavy black rhythms of Polo Cantata No. 1 with its charge of horses and men to the tenderness of such works as Tila, reserved and quietly stated. In some drawings the overall rhythmic sweep tends to cancel out the configuration and dissipate into an unclear overall pattern and, at the other extreme, some tend to particularize into illustration. But in the best there is a rigorous selectivity; a point of tension between pattern and fact is

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  • Helen Lundeberg

    Paul Rivas

    Rivas Gallery has gone a step beyond the usual educational function of the private gallery by instituting a summer series of lectures. In its second year and growing in audience, this series also features short related exhibitions. One of the highlights is a small assemblage of works by Helen Lundeberg, some quite recent. Still Life and Interior with View, both from 1962, show her continuing powers of invention within her quiet realm. Silent and cryptic spatial statements, close in color modulation, work in and out, yet the picture plane is left without a ripple. Comparison drawn from earlier

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  • Group Show

    Rex Evans Gallery

    A group show that stars William Dole and Marie Anne Poniatowska. Dole is impressive as always with his unerring rightness through an enchanting mixture of Oriental detachment and Yankee horse sense. He is a master collage-maker in the traditional (already?) manner, never seeming to force the fragile medium. In Sound For a Foggy Night he allows a few elegant scraps and pale watercolor washes to occupy the whole page rather than become a compulsive exercise in pasting or collecting. Poniatowska’s drawings show her continuing interest in a diamond clarity. Her Dead Bird, for example, maintains a

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  • Group Show

    Dalzell Hatfield Galleries

    An over-the-summer “pot-pourri”: A Bourdelle “baigneuse” graces one window, a second figure stands in a niche, an early Epstein portrait head greets one at the door. There are paintings by Oliver Foss, H. Lambert-Naudin and Jun Dobashi. There is a bad Carzou, a 1948 Buffet, and a strong, less glittery-than-usual “intarsia” by Mary Bowling, who remains pre-eminent in this technique. Foss and H. Lambert-Naudin work in a style of glib “savoir-plaire,” colorful impressions of Parisian landmarks, destined for the tourist who wants more than a post-card to prove he was there. (Montmartre, where no

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  • Group Show

    Feingarten Galleries

    Featuring works by gallery artists Carl Morris, Harry Mintz, John Rood, Elias Friedensohn, Walter Askin, George Nocito, Horst Gottschalk and Arthur Okamura, this exhibition is a neutral representation of a little of this and a little of that without very much of anything. All the tricks of the trade are here in profusion. Aside from Mintz’s Motion, Okamura’s Waterfall, and Morris’ White Field, the exhibition is a rather dull showing of odds and ends with no particular impact.

    ––Arthur Secunda

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  • Olga Higgins

    Ryder Gallery

    Collages, oils and drawings, mostly on the theme of children’s activities. The collages dominate and are very ambitious in their use of the medium but in most cases become a laborious means of achieving the effect of paint. Large areas are painstakingly built from color photos, then scumbled with paint so that a rich surface results, very sumptuous and satisfying, as in Red Sweater, but more often the effect is merely ingenious. The improvised surprises of collage are not used in an important way and appear only as an errant and rather jarring letter or word spliced into an otherwise literal

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  • Dorothy Priesmeier

    Zora’s Brentwood Gallery

    Willy-nilly, pallette-knife painted oils, some cubist oriented, some expressionist oriented, never get off the ground. Miss Priesmeier doesn’t fight her paintings through to the finish, hence her imagery is hardly more than meekly suggested in these confused abstractions.

    ––Arthur Secunda

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  • “Four Polish Artists”

    Toporow Gallery

    The paintings of Eugene Arct, Jerzy Tadeusz Polec, Marek Bojarski and Stanislaw Mark Drozd stem from an earlier School of Paris: the post-impressionist tradition. Although each is a solid painter in the sense of being “at home” with paint, the exhibition is more like what one would have expected to find on the Rue du Seine in 1926 instead of on Hollywood Boulevard in 1962. The paint quality is there in all of them, but the imagery is borrowed from Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and, in the case of Bojarski, from Ruisdael. If these artists could free themselves from this academy they might have the

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  • Gary Chafe

    Little Art Gallery, Santa Barbara

    Chafe may have returned from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, speaking some Spanish, but his paintings, drawings and monotypes do not. He shunned the influence that might have been expected, instead came back with work that is slightly surreal and Ben Shahn-like in its commentary. But for Chafe, a young artist, this is an improvement over his previous work, distinctly cubistic, and is clearly a step forward in his development. A facile draftsman, Chafe is looking harder and loosening his pencil grip. His drawings are freer, although economical, and sure. His print of a bride and bridegroom and a drawing

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  • Group Show

    Galerie deVille

    A fair to middlin’ ho hum summer potpourri group show highlighted by Jimmy Ernst’s rigid web-like Cathedral, linearly woven out of thorny amorphous and box-like shapes. Also features works by Donald Nicholson, Nino Caffe, Jacques Fabert, Joby Baker, Ernest Freed, Pierre Jerome, Max Hartstein, Barnabe, and Christian Title. The latter’s Village in Southern France is a warmly bleak, desolate landscape in which murky verdure blots out a rigid expanse of sky with sensitivity and a kind of rich color-symbolism. Barnabe’s still life, built up of closely related local colors, is like a Persian village

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  • Paul M. Souza

    Comara Gallery

    A series of technically well-handled watercolor washes of comfortable size that, according to Souza, “want to catch the mood in that split-second response to nature, when the eyes are not yet focused—before the intellect begins to separate and label.” And, perhaps, for that brief moment they succeed. However, in nature, with every step and every breath the experience is renewed. Nature is kaleidoscopic, enveloping, rustling; a combination of sight, sound, smell and touch. Souza’s paintings, though mood abstractions, are memories of a moment that, as completed objects, lose sight of the grandeur

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  • Group Exhibition

    Westwood Art Association

    Like most art association shows in Anywhere, U.S.A., this one has no special character of its own, nor does being mixed up in a mediocre hodge-podge do anything to enhance the three or four good paintings lost in the deluge of hobbyists and other nonprofessionals. Two woodcuts by Sandra Brentan, Nude and Face, are woodcutty without being technical exercises. Carol Tolin’s impasto paintings occasionally come off, and when they do, as in Woman on Pier, her “push-pulling” of pigment suggests powerful, fanciful, dynamic, coarse configurations of unusual vigor. A painting-collage, entitled Variations

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  • Group Exhibition

    Gallery De Silva, Santa Barbara

    A safe exhibit not calculated to scare away tourists. Four artists from Japan, Poland, Mexico and Czechoslovakia, respectively, are represented with their work. Their smiles, however, will not turn one away, for if they may bore a little, they won’t offend. They are Matabee Goto, Stella Popowski, Angel Bolivar and Jan Lehner. Especially pleasant are a delicately rendered charcoal black and red nude on fabric by Lehner and two still-lifes by Miss Popowski.

    ––Larry Rottersman

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  • Group Show

    New England Gallery

    In a very mediocre group show (Summer’s here!—but let’s leave the doors open for a cool breeze even though everyone is out swimming) like so many others in town during the July-August months, the work of John Hitesman, Li Chen, Margaret Hehman, Louis Ott, Bob Wendell, Vivian Guedel, Glenna Gilbert, David Sterrett, and a couple of others, are cozily shown in this be-mirrored gallery. The only real painting in the exhibition that persists to haunt one after leaving is The Castle Rock, an interlocking positive-negative sort of dynamic spatial solution (like hearing monaural and stereo at the same

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