Los Angeles

Keith Crown

Xanadu Gallery

A bril­liant patterning of Fauve color, a curious combination of the communication of the immediacy of experience along with the conscious analysis of composition, and an absorption with themes of nature––sunsets, tide pools, sunflowers, mus­tard and weeds––characterize the re­cent work of Keith Crown. What threat­ens through color to become a restless and nerve-racking experience, resolves itself into a pleasantly exciting explora­tion of a new dimension of the natural world. The containment of the experi­ence within an ordered esthetic is ac­complished by a structural geometry which has in it hints of an Art Nouveau formality. Crown also uses freely a de­vice of horizontal bordering of the can­vas, an invention which would appear to have grown out of the abstraction of sunset images but which often serves purely formalistic requirements. The range of abstraction is broad, color runs the full gamut of the spectrum, and the image crowds the boundaries of the canvas. Most of the time the experience, as in Sunsets and Tide Pools, Still Life with Pumpkin, Weeds in Spring, and several others, is a rewarding one, drawing equally on associational and perceptual responses. If the balance is broken, it is more likely to be in favor of a cacophony of color that evokes an immediate response but lacks sufficient substance to sustain involvement, the risk of so much contemporary expression. The exhibition is an excellent one to mark the opening of the Xanadu Gallery at its new San Marino location. 

Constance Perkins