Los Angeles

Edward Biberman

Heritage Gallery

This is an exhibition of work by an honest man with serious concerns; he possesses a strong mastery of the tools of his trade, and yet his paintings lack the authority they should rightly have. Like it or not, in the crisis of expression that exists in painting, the men with a great deal of manifest content are those most likely to become involved in “style.” In Biberman’s more ambitious paintings this attention to “styling” leads to an uneasy alliance between literal fact and a decorative suavity––an inter­spersed modernity that dilutes the intent––so that the message, which should be singularly clear, comes gift-wrapped. One painting that seems to be a genuine act of homage based on the artist’s admiration for Linus Pauling, presents Pauling, alert and elfin, but oddly uncomfortable in a Fortune Maga­zine melange of candied symbols. In the smaller-scale works like Quiet One (drawing) and the study for Attitudes of Grief, as well as the simple city­scapes, much is said and the dignity of their understatement gives a presence to what is said.

Douglas McClellan