Los Angeles

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 environ­mental variation available to the human mind. The pictures in the current exhibition were made over a period of the last four years. They all work within Parker’s context where from one to four large, amorphous, mashed-potato or rectangu­lar shapes form a configuration in a white space. But they act as nothing more than well-painted, directionless variations on a theme. In comparing the later paintings with the earlier ones, one finds no sign of refinement or progress They seem, when taken in the context of this show, to be only large trade-marks that allow the initiate to say, “Oh, yes, that’s a Parker.” 

Don Factor