Los Angeles

“Award Winners, 1953–1962, From the All-City Art Festival”

Otis Art Institute

Eighty-five works, purchase awards from the eight large extravaganzas held at Barnsdall Park, are on exhibit as a compressed view of the taste of twenty-four separate jurors over a ten year period. In total impact the show has somewhat the same humbling effect as looking through old art magazines. It is uneven, many things which were a la mode are already dated because la mode has changed (nothing looks more outdated than the recently fashionable), and the various juries could hardly be expected to pick for posterity when wading through such a sprawl of work. Such exhibits do provide a useful reminder about the arbitrariness of official styles and the limitations of the jury system. There are a respectable number of works, however, that survive the documentary lesson of the show and their presence may well justify the collection.

Doug McClellan