reviews

  • Michel Albert

    New England Gallery

    This young French painter has already learned the lessons of the School of Paris, especially from de Stael. Thick slices and wedges of color are stacked on top of each other to form a simple image. Color and paint are the order of the day, but the most interesting paint­ings are those in which these two elements serve an end instead of being exploited for their own sake. Square Table and Snowscape best typify the direction this decided talent might take.

    Joan Hugo

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  • Joel Barletta

    Dilexi Gallery

    These paintings depend for their interest on the tensions inherent in a space divided into a number of slightly out-of-whack rectangles. The colors are generally ele­gant dark browns, blacks and greys, but the pictures fall short of elegance due primarily to what appears to be a quite naive concept of edge and paint applica­tion. These pictures seem to be an at­tempt to work out of the manner of abstract painting which dominated the past decade, but Barletta has yet to accomplish his aim.

    Don Factor

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  • Schyler Standish

    The Ernest Raboff Gallery

    The oil paintings by Schyler Standish are too small to be evaluated in terms other than as sketches, but within such a frame of reference, there is a wide spread of experience represented. Many of the figure pieces employ a rather dry technique, with care­fully modeled form and an inclination toward academic painting yet with a po­tential––if a sizeable studio piece were attempted––beyond that which is gen­erally seen today. More exciting are a number of landscapes done in heavy im­pasto that suggest a simplification of nature in relatively abstract-expression­ist terms. Baldwin Hills utilizes

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  • Conrad Woods

    Comara Gallery

    Near abstract paintings worked in oil on ma­sonite of modest size. Thin washes are absorbed into the panel while richer areas, developed with the knife and brush, stand clear, sometimes explod­ing, sometimes being sucked in. These are not quite academic, though strong touches of Gorky still remain, especially in the spatial punctures and descriptive line. The paintings are from two periods, two sources of influence. One group was done following a fellowship to India (1960), the other group are the result of a recent journey to Mexico. Knowing this, it is possible to extract ethnological differences.

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  • José Luis Cuevas

    Occidental College

    Cuevas speaks of the human condition through fantasy and grotesquery. He can honestly be likened to the Goya of the Sleep of Reason or to Bosch, or to others who made images of the wild forces that make man his own most devastating parody. To cite Cuevas’ an­cestors is not unfair for he has a for­midable talent as a draftsman that al­lows him to support many influences and still remain intact. Several pages of studies, each containing about 40 fig­ures, are brilliant in their grasp of or­ganic structure and the ways in which this structure can be exploited. In the “Franco” series he pushes his

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  • Marc du Plantier

    Michel Thomas Gallery

    Marc du Plantier is a French artist now living in Mexico City. This is his first Los Angeles show. Accustomed as we are to a surfeit of cleverness, his sculptures and paintings are, at first, disarmingly simple. Wall in Mexico, Burning City, and a series of fantasies on the space theme––Spatial Geol­ogy, From Outer Space––the simple titles belie a deep interest in the essen­tial images of the New Realism. The sculptures use mineral sources, bronze, gemstones, mica. They are static, to­temic, with emphasis on shape, texture, and relief, without developing volumes. The paintings also rely on relief

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  • Adelaide Fogg

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    The line scrapes, and ink fuzzes into some of the fibers of the paper, like a new blotter. Every almond eye drops anchor as a nose. Every nasal pendulum has a pair of eye-wide lips below. A face-­head is a round pebble except for one protruding left-sided ear. Chubby fingers all of the same length issue from wrist­-less arms like banana mittens. The big faces are the mama faces; the little faces are the baby faces. The big faces hug the little faces and the little faces hug the background. Everywhere it’s so nice and sweet: every purple is near a rose or blue patch, and yellow really helps make

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  • Saburo Nakayama

    Ryder Gallery

    Torn between traditional disciplines and an urge toward the abstract, his paint­ings waver between two and three planes. The paint is thick without real density, the image essentially static. His watercolors are more conservative and make fewer demands on a seem­ingly hesitant approach.

    Bertil Vallien, a Swedish ceramist, shows charming clay figures.

    Joan Hugo

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  • Allan Blizzard

    Rex Evans Gallery

    An easy and direct use of paint and an almost effortless way of recording the forms of nature mark the rather impres­sive talent of Allan Blizzard in his first one man show in the L.A. area. He is in many ways a “nature” painter: he can weave atmosphere and substance into simple and conclusive relationships, but many of the paintings have overtones beyond that of simple nature. There is often a breath of the Westwood Angst that implies dire offstage happenings and it is not always convincing in the presence of the hearty, untutored paint. Landscape Near Chatsworth seems more coherent than most

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  • “Local 839, Iatse, Film Cartoonists”

    Pass Gallery

    Tony Rizzo shows paint­ings limited in concept, tight in execu­tion, done in showcard colors, ultimately derived from Eugene Berman’s theatri­cal grab-bag of sets and props. Cornelius Cole shows sensitive gesture drawings that owe much to Daumier and Charles Dana Gibson. He is unpretentiously in­terested in people and what people do. His paintings are luminous and pleasant.

    Joan Hugo

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  • Matabee Goto

    Gallery de Silva

    A pro­lific Osaka-born contemporary Japanese artist, Matabee Goto has never been outside his native Japan, yet paints imaginative works reminiscent of Cha­gall and Tamayo. His subject matter is fantastic birds, animals in tropical jungles, Mexican and East Indies fig­ures. The colors are jazzy and brilliant. Goto grinds his own pigments, uses both oil and water color and then waxes the surface to produce a luminous quality. His paintings are surrealistic, expres­sionistic, and painted to the rhythm of his favorite composer’s music, Stra­vinsky. Woman with Guitar on Beach is a mystical Chagall-like

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  • 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

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  • “30 Friends”

    Los Angeles Art Associa­tion

    The showing is the first of a series of exhibitions of works by friends of the Los Angeles Art Association who have donated to the association’s auctions and thereby helped realize its exhibition program. The roster of artists included is dominated by names of long standing in the area. The result is an exhibition of generally consistently good canvases, each giving that which we have come to expect. Therein lies the limitation of the show for, although we may vehemently denounce the dangers of experimenta­tion and shock for their own sakes, the vitality of any art form is to be found in its

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  • Jacques Fabert

    Galerie De Ville

    A wily Parisian mannerist with something for everybody (and from several some­bodies), Fabert seems to have forsaken pictorial syntax in order to speak sev­eral languages at once. The result is visual babble. The tower that Jacques builds contains hunks of representation­ally drawn human anatomy and art his­torical debris grouped together by cubis­tic spacial lacing. His glossing drafts­manship is, nevertheless, superior to his color. Having studied with Fernand Léger and Andre Lhote, Fabert seems to have ignored Leger’s legacy of struc­tural clarity and integration. Instead, his paintings, with

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  • Ray Friesz

    Ramon Lopez Gallery

    Ray Friesz works in a medium (Duco enamel) in which the material itself makes it comparatively easy to cheat, to paint brightly colored, rhythmic, empty things, but he does nothing of the kind. His paintings are filled almost to the explod­ing point with color, but also with sub­tlety and restraint; they are rhythmic, but not meaninglessly so, rather, they each have their own individual graceful­ness, and they are far from empty of validity or of content. Mr. Friesz discovers in each painting, seemingly in the act of painting it, its relevance to nat­ural form, and in each he carries out the

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  • “Three French Painters”

    Raymond Burr Gallery

    Luminous, elegant, beau­tifully painted still lifes by Philipe Augé dominate this show. Those paintings with figures have a stylized, romantic, Italianate quality (Campigli at Pompeii) but only a few transcend a tendency to­ward decor to communicate a certain detached nostalgia. Solitude and, especially, Premier Combat, a fine exercise in white, best demonstrate the possibilities of his approach. Shown with Augé are works by Roger Jacquelin and Auguste Liquois. Jacquelin is not memorable. Liquois hesitates to push the rendering of atmosphere beyond the limits reached by Monet.

    Joan Hugo

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  • John Altoon

    Ferus Gallery

    Large oils that have origins in the artist’s re­cent drawings, deal with fanciful erotica and are executed with appropriate casu­alness. Loose clots of thick paint follow the paths of drawing, not imbedded into paint but left dry and vulnerable on the pristine white canvas. The result is an anti-painterly occupation of surfaces, a sense of things forced on a surface, rather than worked into it. This possibly adds bite to the perverse humor of his statement, but by becoming gigantic and embellished versions of the draw­ings, the paintings lose the intimate contact with the viewer and become more

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  • Group Show

    Martin Janis Gallery

    A motley assortment of prints and draw­ings by big-name artists of the late nine­teenth and twentieth centuries covers every available square inch of wall space, with the floor accommodating the overflow. The gallery, which also has paintings for sale, advertises works by Pollock, Matisse, Burchfield, Kline, Pi­casso, Plotkin, Motherwell, Braque, Eil­shemius, Gottlieb, Shahn, and others. These “others” include some fine prints and drawings by Kandinsky, Klee, and Cézanne. The quality is uneven, how­ever, with a framed reproduction of a Matisse hanging next to a truly fine Kandinsky lithograph.

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  • Takashi Senda

    Hale Gallery

    Success­ful as a conservative painter, Senda struck out in 1956 toward a freer mode of painting. The canvases are dynamic, his interest is in space and movement. The strokes cluster and group them­selves, moving with ease from canvas edge to converge with force. New Dimension and Sound of Valley are the most successful.

    Joan Hugo

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  • Group Exhibition

    Kramer Gallery

    Featuring paintings by Ray Campbell, Jonathan Scott, Alexander Nepote, Burr Singer, Aimee Bourdieu and Mabel Al­varez, this small group show offers sev­eral choice examples within the modest but perfectly valid confines of the gal­lery’s conservative penchant. Two paint­ings are of particular note: Nepote’s vigorous early seascape, executed with broad, sure strokes and cool, singing colors, and Miss Alvarez’s rich bouquet­like genre entitled Flower-sellers, iri­descent in its refined sumptuousness and subtle glow.

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  • Francis de Erdely

    Newport Beach City Hall Fine Arts Patrons of Newport Harbor

    “The art of Francis de Erdely is positive, clear, logically constructed and powerfully stated. It is the visual testi­mony of a witness of the human condi­tion in his time, explicit, without a shred of mystery. We see what he saw and feel what he valued. His passionate nature gave great force to his pictorial state­ments. His disciplined and cultivated in­tellect gave them great clarity.” The words of Arthur Millier clearly cannot be improved upon in writing about this late, great artist. The 31 paintings and draw­ings comprising a small, but well-chosen retrospective bear witness to the lasting

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  • Group Show

    Paideia Gallery

    Banau­sia prevails in the less-than-professional paintings exhibited by Pat Berger, Nick Brigante, Evelyn Carpenter, Agnes Kel­log, Steven Kissel, Dick Poole, Irma Ro­sien, J. B. Thompson. Obsequiously non­figurative, most of the aspirants welter among abstract clichés from Kissel’s be­labored abstract-impressionism to Bri­gante’s slick ornamental bravado in jag­ging black ink across such bright white paper. Only Dick Poole’s work rises above the hackneyed imagery of the group. His interest in getting at the configura­tion of social contexts has forced him to observe something besides other

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  • “Contemporary Painting and Sculpture”

    Everett Ellin Gallery

    This exhibition embraces an impressive array of well-accepted name-brand painters and sculptors of our century. The catholic range of the exhibition runs the gamut of Klee, Jawlensky, Matta, and Dufy to recent work of Guston, Diebenkorn, Dubuffet, Charles Frazier, Joan Jacobs and others. From an historical point of view there are several pieces which one fondly (and perhaps naively) hopes will eventually find their way into one or another of the public collections here on the West Coast. Among these is a small very handsome Orphist work of 1916 by Sonia Terk Delaunay, an early still life Red

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  • Robert Ellis

    Esther Robles Gallery

    Ellis has for some time now been paint­ing large, sparse canvases that speak of nature through elongated dabs of vari­ous greens and browns laced over one another so that they move in space. The conformation is usually that of a reverse “C,” as if a willow branch dabbed with pigment had brushed against it. This moving element is contrasted against a static, usually upright and stick-like. These are played against a field of bare canvas. In this show nature is shoved over to the right and the left half of the painting is devoted to man-mades, which are symbolized by the harsh letters of posters.

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  • “Arts of Southern California XII: Sculpture”

    Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach

    This is a frustrating and embar­rassing exhibition. To note that it will also travel nationally as a reflection of our sculptural climate is enough to send any red-blooded sculptor back to the ice and snow of the East. (Speaking of climate, our “outdoor way of life” would seem ideally suited to making, storing and placing sculpture, especially now with several foundries in the plan­ning. Why isn’t it?) Temperate in more ways than one, only eleven sculptors are represented and more than a few show inferior work. Missing are such men as Edward Kienholz, Kenneth Price, Charles Frazier, Peter Voulkos

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  • Emerson Woelffer

    Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena

    This large retrospective shows Woelffer’s work from 1946 to the pres­ent. In it he comes off as an artist who has devoted his career to the expression of a visual, non-verbal kind of poetry and as a master of collage. A conscious attempt at the poetic transcendence of one’s materials places the artist in a tenuous position of having no middle­ground to which he can safely fall back. Thus, Woelffer’s paintings exist indi­vidually as either complete successes or total failures. And, in an age that seems to value the painter more than the painting, Woelffer has been sadly neglected. 

    In general,

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  • “The Grape and Wine in Graphic Art”

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    A traveling exhibition of more than pass­ing interest, this exhibition was com­piled from the collection of Paul Masson and brought to the County Museum by its History Department. The exhibition is a comprehensive cross-section of prints historically (from an illuminated parchment leaf from a late 15th century Book of Hours to a whimsical lithograph by Picasso dated 1956) and stylistically (with caricatures by Thomas Rowland­son and Honoré Daumier, botannical illustrations, country views, fable illus­trations, and mythological scenes). One would assume, too, that the thematic coverage is as

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  • Arnaldo Pomodoro

    Felix Landau Gallery

    Bronze, silver and lead sculp­tures, some drawings. This is an excel­lent exhibition, not only respecting the quality of the work, but also because it helps to expose the lie that abstract images are too much the same. It proves that individual and national characteris­tics maintain themselves even in non­objective contexts. There is little doubt that this is Italian sculpture, just as Pollock’s paintings are American, or Soulages’ French. It shows that subject matter is a lesser part of the artist’s heritage. There is an earthy taste here that differs from the lighter taste of the French and

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  • “Drawings, Watercolors, Prints by Modern Masters”

    Gerhard Pinkus Gallery

    A discerning and intriguing col­lection of works by recognized artists from the first half of this century is offered in an environment scaled to the human dimension. As an art dealer, Mr. Pinkus replaces the merchant’s blatancy with the quiet enthusiasm of a friend, who, in the familiar nearness of a small room, decides to share his treasures with his guests. This dimension of in­timacy is appropriate to the works which are of modest size and were intended to be seen at fairly close range. Predomi­nantly expressive rather than formal studies, side-by-side on one wall of the present exhibition

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  • “1962 Awards Pasadena Chapter, AIA”

    Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena

    This is a rather sparse exhibition of ten buildings selected by a jury of five architects (Maynard Lyndon, H. J. Powell, John L. Rex, George Vernon Russell and Clar­ence J. Paderewski). Few architectural exhibitions are really worth the bother, either as examples of exciting visual dis­plays or for their content, and this ex­hibition, like most of those sponsored by the AIA, is extremely dull. Unless one were acquainted with these build­ings it would be impossible to under­stand them as they are here presented. Several of them are presented in such a cursory, fragmentary way that they even lack

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  • “Ethiopian Art”

    Museum of Art and Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

    A most impressive group of folk arts is on exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and concurrent with the museum exhibit is another of Ethiopian painting at the Esther Bear Gallery. The Santa Barbara importation is from the collec­tion of artist Jack Baker, now living in Santa Barbara, who collected the art during his years of living in Ethiopia. The paintings at the Esther Bear Gallery are filled with direct human experience such as group portraits and episodes in the mode of narrative painting found in early Near Eastern story-telling scenes. They are warmly naive and filled with a classic

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  • Reginald Neal

    Primus-Stuart Gal­leries

    Reginald Neal’s canvases appear at first to be derivations from Rothko in which rectangular fields occur one on another in close color ranges of low intensities, defined largely by value con­trast. A textural treatment of pigment adds to the illusion of melting boun­daries and contributes a uniquely sensu­ous quality to canvases otherwise basically classic in spacial order. Most curious, however, are the conceptual as­sociations established, partly by image and partly by title. In the Beginning and A Quiet Place seem simple, silent reservoirs of strength. Orange Con­stellation introduces the

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  • John Hultberg

    Esther Bear Gallery

    John Hultberg is an American painter born in Berkeley in 1922. An ex-Navy man, many of his paintings have marine themes; port-holes opening into the vast space of the uncluttered sea, the world of the ship with its tightly-organized re­strained forms on the edge of space, searchlights probing mysterious plat­forms. “Flotsam,” the fractured debris of a shipwreck, is a good example of the way he tears down his subject matter and reorganizes it with logic and order. Anchored Freighter, reverses his vis­ion and looks from a stark shore across the sea lane to the hulking ship and receding infinity

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  • Raymond Parker

    Dwan Gallery

    If it were possible to devote a lifetime to looking at modern paintings, and during that lifetime to see but one or two of Parker’s, one might consider him a great artist. His pictures have the look of the best abstract-expressionist painting. Un­fortunately, when we are exposed to a rather large body of his work, as we are in this and his previous show at the same gallery, we must conclude that the painting has never progressed beyond the original idea. This is unlike, for ex­ample, Albers, who creates within the strict limitations of his squares a view of the infinite possibilities of

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  • 42nd Annual California Watercolor Society

    Long Beach Museum of Art

    After decades of wash, wet-into-wet and drybrush doctrinaire, after years of “bold brush” (never bold artist) tech­niques, and after being suffocated if not drowned in a limpid pool of studied transparency, it is both easy and proper to grow nauseous at the thought of fac­ing again one single California water­color, and paralyzing to think of con­fronting seventy-six of them. But the California watercolor has changed. It is neither Californian in nature nor trans­parent in concept. (Some have argued that it is not even watercolor: the ma­jority are casein, many are pastel, sev­eral are collage

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  • 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

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  • Marc Chagall

    Art Center, La Jolla

    Mr. Donald Brewer of the Art Center in La Jolla has worked, on and off, for two years to assemble this exhibition. The last major Chagall show was in Pasa­dena in 1957, to commemorate the then-70 year old painter. In 1959, the largest Chagall show ever was held at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris where there were some 350 paintings and about 50 graphic works on display. The unity of visual, as well as intellectual concept, was overwhelming, then as it is now. The Violinist (1911–14), The Birthday (1915–23), The Auto­biography (1933), The White Cruci­fixion (1938), have made their way from

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  • Lorser Feitelson

    Ankrum Gallery

    An ideated rather than a sensible uni­verse looms out of Feitelson’s paint­ings. However these two-dimensional essences are surprisingly limited, seem­ing to have been arrived at by reduction rather than illumination. The epic of the two-dimensional picture plane has been recited since its formation in Cubism. Each new bard of the flat surface, in adding his own voice to the cycle, nat­urally affected the theme. Thus the heroic constructions of the beginning of this century gave way to the metaphysi­cal myths of a Mondrian or Gabo. Feitel­son, by creating lyrical ballads, con­tinues the cycle

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  • “Pre-Columbian Masterworks”

    Pasadena Museum of Art, Pasadena

    A pocket-sized exhibition of eleven large and twenty-eight small examples of Pre-Columbian sculpture of Mexico. The clay and stone sculpture has been borrowed from sev­eral southern California collections, those of Robert Rowan, E. Primus, Dal­ton Trumbo and the Stendahl Gallery. One is a little at a loss to fully under­stand the nature of the display: it does not attempt, even on a small scale, to render a meaningful picture of the Pre­Columbian sculpture of this region, nor, with the exception of two specific pieces, could one honestly say that the indi­vidual examples are in themselves

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  • Margaret Ash

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara

    Eighteen recent paintings. Within the past year or so the painter has had a number of one man shows in southern California. Her thorough under­standing and command of the craft, al­ways apparent in her work, is at least in part due to the diversity and basic soundness of her background: study with Lebrun, at the University of Califor­nia, Santa Barbara, the Art Students League and the Cooper Union School of Art. On first encounter perhaps the most striking element of her work is her highly personal, constrained style. One senses a determined, firm hand both in her in­triguing mixed technique of

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  • Edward Reep

    Paul Rivas Gallery

    Few painters are as capable as Edward Reep is in maintaining a middle of the road position between today’s experimental and traditional forms of painting, without becoming static or repetitive. Granted, Reep does adventure occasionally into what would appear to be pure abstraction––Solitude is such (al­though it may have derived from the object)––and in so doing communicates most effectively. But the esthetic means employed are familiar ones derived from the experiments of the first part of the century. Whether using the image or not, Reep refers to the natural world or to common experiences

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  • “Scenes of Grandeur: 19th Century Landscape Paintings of California”

    Po­mona College Gallery, Claremont

    A show brought together from the collec­tions of the Oakland Museum and pri­vate lenders that is a sentimental bou­quet for the College’s 75th birthday. It is redolent of the time and place when nature was its own reward and the painter was content to remind us of this fact. The wonder-of-it-all is in every cor­ner, California in its grandest and quiet­est aspects is celebrated with gusto and imported skill. Indians and squaws inhabit the Yosemite Valley, glacial peaks stand majestically behind the head­waters of the San Joaquin River, the Pacific shore by day and forests by night: all are part

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  • “Eight Figurative Painters from Los Angeles: Fine Arts Patrons of New­port Harbor”

    Pavilion Gallery, Balboa

    For many years the Newport Beach area has been a place known to boating enthusiasts and beachlovers. The only art event of any importance was the annual Newport Harbor High School Art Show, an all-southern California juried event, which has become increas­ingly interesting in scope over its past 18 years of existence. Now there is a permanent gallery in a most unusual location. The second floor of the Pavil­ion, located in the center of the Newport peninsula, used to be a ballroom in the 1920’s and 1930’s. After years of lying fallow, art patron A. Ducommon turned it over to the Fine Arts Patrons.

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  • “Drawing Invitational”

    Scripps Col­lege, Claremont

    This second Scripps Annual Drawing Show presents drawing as a process of investigation. The work of ten contemporary artists is supplemented by a small selection of master drawings loaned by O.P. Reed, drawings by Arshile Gorky loaned by Hans Burkhardt and several study groups made up of the work of 19th and 20th-century European and American artists from local collections. The scope and diversity of the exhibition is impres­sive. The gallery devoted to the work of Gorky provides an ingenious introduc­tion to the diverse individuality of the processes of investigation manifest in the body of

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  • Joan Maffei

    Ceeje Gallery

    For sheer gusto of vulgarity in color, form and symbol this show deserves three cheers and a box of cigars. It has a Rabelaisian innocence that makes the use of lips, breasts, fecal forms, and the like, with their nagging insistence on modeled volume, become quite extroverted and funny. In many, the color is a wildly chromatic insult to the eye that can best be described as courageous. When this color is applied to the sausagey forms, the results are a visual turkey-shoot.

    There are quiet spots amid all the jollity that are rewarding (and welcome). The drawings, Sanci Studies, and the series

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