Los Angeles

“14 Americans in France”

Laguna Beach Art Association Gallery

An exhibition of 40 paintings and sculptures was organized by the American Cultural Center in Paris under the supervision of Miss Darthea Speyer who selected the works. It is being circulated in this country by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The painters represented are T. Appleby, O. Chelimsky, A. de Caro, J. Downing, D. Fink, S. Jaffe, J. Koenig, J. Levee, and K. Smith. The sculptors are C. Falkenstein, H. Cousins, H. Phillips, D. Schnable and R. Stackpole. All the artists settled in France between 1948 and 1950, a fact which is the only factor unifying this show.

Most of the pictures are non-figurative, on fairly large canvases. Don Fink builds amorphous areas on a neutral ground, very reminiscent of Mark Tobey’s white writing, rather than of any French painter. John Koenig is concerned with texture; his large color areas are a lot like Clifford Still’s work. John Levee seems influenced by Soulages. Sculptors Ralph Stackpole and Claire Falkenstein and Helen Phillips are the most interesting exhibitors: “Soleil No. 23,” a wire sculpture by Falkenstein, is very delicate and well executed, a pity it had to be framed. Stackpole’s “Interior Force” is solid and powerful, and Helen Phillips’ three bronze sculptures are beautifully finished works, full of life and motion, combining positive and negative space most successfully.

I. E. Desenberg