reviews

  • Third Annual Exhibition of California Painting and Sculpture

    Art Center in La Jolla

    This grouping of 61 works, selected from over 700 entries, was juried by Thomas B. Hess. It is unfortunate that this fact makes very little difference and it is difficult to believe his catalog statement that “The optimistic light, intimacy and freshness that illuminates the exhibition is . . . a valuable contribution to international modern art from California.” The simple truth is that the large majority of better California artists do not submit to juried exhibitions and it’s hard to blame them. Those that do, submit through their galleries, and the works are more often than not leftovers

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  • H. C. Westermann

    Dilexi Gallery

    The primary problem with most recent work in the area of assemblage has been the dominance of literary concepts at the expense of formal integrity. Extra-pictorial subject matter has in most instances directed form, thus creating a sort of sophisticated, urban folk art. Westermann has been one of those artists caught in this trap of contemporary myth-making. In his early pieces he dealt in autobiographical surreal symbolism generally in a rather conventional manner. From this he developed his more well-known series of anthropomorphic houses, boxes and machines such as Great Mother Womb, To a

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  • “The Art of Honoré Daumier”

    Pasadena Art Museum

    Except for a couple of pieces that the Museum has added to the exhibition, the works shown are from the collection of Robert Q. Lewis. It is not a comprehensive representation of the artist’s performance which included some four thousand lithographs alone, but does give a peculiarly selective insight into the manner in which Daumier worked. Of primary interest are a dozen or so small bronzes, cast after the artist’s death from the wax models he was wont to make prior to his drawings. What is amazing is that there are compounded in these pieces both sculptural and draftsman-like elements, the

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  • Jack Zajac

    Landau Gallery

    Recognizing the link between the sacrificial animal and the sacrificial human, Zajac is inspired by this sacred bond of indemnification and draws his subject matter from three kinds of offerings: the bound goat, the ram, and the deposition. He has varying success with each theme. The ram’s head is often treated too literally or ornamentally. But his preoccupation with the shapes of the ram’s horns may lead Zajac into enclosing space within his sculptures by an exploration of the possibilities of opening-out the form. The sculptor has discovered a fertile challenge to his achievements in the

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  • Matsumi Kanemitsu

    Dwan Gallery

    These are large, loose non-objective oils and they are some of the handsomest of their kind. The dominant configuration is a centrally placed shape that floats in the spacious ambience of matte color. For the most part the shapes are geometric but Kanemitsu is a sly geometer and skews or nibbles them to keep the image in constant action, alternately dissolving and coalescing. One, of an irregular red block on a brighter red surface, presses the black underpainting of the block into the bright red field as if to digest it. Several are looser in pattern, the shapes being amorphous and less

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  • “Director’s Choice”

    Pasadena Art Museum

    By presenting a sizable collection of works of art available in Los Angeles galleries, the exhibition is designed to assist new collectors in their initial purchases. As works are sold they are replaced by similar quality pieces; thus the show is, in part, constantly changing. To further assist potential buyers, the exhibition is organized as a sequence of displays: Early American Painting, Primitive Art, Old Master Drawings and Prints, Modern Masters, Contemporary Art and Masterworks. Except for the last category, all exhibition pieces have been kept under a $1,000.00 value limit. Therefore

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  • “Graphics”

    Frank Perls Gallery

    A handsome show of the graphic works of some modern masters, Picasso, Dubuffet, Miró, Chagall, Giacometti, and some local artists, Brice, Strombotne, McGarrell. There are some early Picasso etchings, including La Soupe and some of his recent, brilliant linoleum cuts. There are some good Chagall samplings.

    James Strombotne’s suite of ten lithographs of “Women” is in the realm of cartooning, with humor in about the same vein as Abner Dean; the work is messy. James McGarrell’s work seems pretentious; perhaps self-conscious is better. His work is unclear, as though he were preoccupied with the “

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  • Karen Neubert and William Ransom

    Pasadena Art Museum

    An exhibition of paintings, collages, and object sculpture by this husband-and-wife team range in content from Krazy Kat to an advertising campaign for Pop-sex. Karen Neubert (HERS) shows a very real affinity for paint and the things that paint can do. In her supersaturated non-objective canvases she uses a soft enameloid consistency, wet into wet, to produce viscous shapes precariously arrayed in the flux of the visual field. Ignatz Gets the Mean Reds, one of several stemming from Herriman’s cartoons (he would flip at all these soft edges), has a wit that works handsomely with the richness of

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  • “Gallery Artists”

    Primus-Stuart Galleries

    Even the paintings in this collage-filled show give the effect of being pasted layers. Joan Brown’s slabbed oil of two nudes is even more stratified in feeling than her torn-paper study of the same subject. Brown’s weakness seems to be her virtue since the banality of form in both works makes for a powerful grossness. Emerson Woelffer’s flaws seem to be less fertile. Represented by many examples in this show, Woelffer demonstrates facility and a penchant for “instant painting.” Apparently he only adds water to a mix made in New York. The potential boldness of automatic painting is inhibited by

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  • “Gallery Group”

    Ernest Raboff Gallery

    Joachim Probst stands out amidst a large group of works. His Bull Christ, a risen and powerful image, is balanced by the overt mystical fragrance of Vermont Madonna. Probst has a kind of tender, Roualt-Rembrantian configuration, monumental forms encased in frames searching for heavenly walls and meanings. A fine line drawing, Deposition is made of loose groups of figures banded by parallelograms of conscious linear planes. Will Foster’s entries are competent underpainted canvases of female heads and nudes yellowed by heavy varnish rather than intent, kin to pretty English portraiture. Swiss

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  • John Grillo

    Ankrum Gallery

    The expressive substance of these collages is a universe filled with moving particles which cannot collide. Enameled shelf-papers, wallpaper, braille imprints and magazine salvage are all included for pasting, but each surrenders its original identity in the matrix of form that Grillo imposes. His color scheme is dominated by yellow and white whose brightness he exploits to play man-made sunspots upon the viewer’s retina. And they do leave vivid after-images. Grillo displays a great capacity for spacial inventiveness in this series. Each collage is a new distribution of forms equally capable of

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  • Leonard Edmondson

    Comara Gallery

    This is Leonard Edmondson’s first print show in four years and certainly marks a turning point for him. While his earlier work tended to be pale, busy jig-saws or Hayterish linear exercises, this new work is beautiful, clear, strong, unhesitating. The blacks are thick, velvety, the colors glow like butterfly wings, but most remarkable is his use of white areas as a single, positive, unifying element. Aquarius, Taurus, Cloisters, Garden of Eden—the titles are simple, evocative, the prints are bold, eloquent, sure, revealing their maker as a man of enormous resources, maturity and skill. The

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  • “Gallery Group”

    Ceejee Gallery

    An undistinguished show only slightly held together by the sensitive offerings of Louis L. Lunetta and Roberto Chavez. Lunetta’s small etching Mexican Crucifixion, an off-center, tilted, sensitive crucified figure surrounded by angels, is transformed into a color print as Crucifixion of Mexico with angels sacred and profane seated on arms of the cross, with other double face forms and hands carrying a muted and colorful image. The regal Saint Teresa is a royal Madonna holding the Christ crucifix among roses and leaves. Chavez gives us a large number of small varied wash drawings about the

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  • Group Show

    Toporow Gallery

    Though this mixed-media group exhibition of Polish and Russian works ranging from the late 19th century through contemporary times is of uneven quality, several examples stand out notably. Among them are genre paintings from the School of Repin and by N. Grandkowski executed around the turn of the century, the cubist and impressionist paintings of E. Reinhold and J. Eckert, and the loose watercolors of W. Zych and F. Polec. By far the most interesting to the contemporary eye is the “art brut” nonfigurative work of Wanda Paklikowska-Winnicka. Painted in rich impasto relief, Miss P-Winnicka’s

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  • Group Show

    Sabersky Gallery

    An intimate and quiet atmosphere provides the perfect setting for examining this fine group of prints and drawings. The range is wide, including contemporary prints and illuminated manuscript pages of the 15th and 16th centuries.

    The gallery does not present shows as such but exhibits a variety of prints and drawings for the visitor’s examination and purchase. A wealth of additional material, stored in bins and boxes, is available upon request. One cannot help but notice the owner’s genuine enthusiasm and scholarly attitude. So far as possible, each print is documented with such information as

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  • Holiday Show

    Esther Robles

    Sixty-three small-scale gems are aired and contain some very good finds. Outside of the gallery group are such things as several trenchant Grosz drawings, a nifty Stuart Davis lithograph, a smattering of Matta drawings that pop all over the place, a brooding Tapies lithograph, an unusually pattern-oriented Max Ernst print, and many others. One particular delight was a collage, Untitled #17, by the Brazilian (now in Paris) Arthur Luis Piza. It consists of subtle cut squares in subtle colors and is roughly reminiscent of Klee’s “constructed” watercolors but has an authority of control that is the

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  • Constantine and Group Show

    Cowie Wilshire Galleries and Cowie Galleries (Biltmore Hotel)

    Now living in Los Angeles, Constantine Cherkas was born in Moscow and studied there and in Vienna and Munich. Perhaps there is some connection between his early training and his portrait style in such major pieces as Sasha which resembles the work of the Munich-trained Duveneck. The influence however, does not carry over into his landscapes. Here realistic and abstract elements are combined in a manner ascribed to Synthesism (a Parisian movement of the last five years). Too often the combination remains a conscious one. Only in the oil sketches is it resolved. These at moments achieve enough

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  • “The Leonard Cutrow Triptych”

    The First Unitarian Church Of Los Angeles

    On 3 panels approximately 24'' x 40'' Leonard Cutrow offers works from the source springs of Taoism, Indian Philosophy and humanities, and Judeo-Christianity. “The total consciousness of being encompasses man’s relationship to nature and the universe, man’s relationship to himself, and man’s relationship to his fellow men.” Mr. Cutrow’s literature is sublime, but the meager focus of such evocative morality could be the ultimate works of art rather than what seem to be three preliminary exercises. The first is washed, spotted and limed, oriental in motif and feeling; the second is a kind of heavy

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  • “Gallery Artists”

    Hale Gallery

    Derivative and mediocre work primarily concerned with eye-catching textural effects brings the objects in this exhibition close to the level of interior decorator’s accessories. The exhibitors do not risk enough of themselves in their work, making conspicuous the absence of that underlying seriousness which distinguishes paintings from ornamentation. Thompson makes bad sculpture out of portions of other men’s ideas. Simms creates what might properly be called a rectangular “smush” by adding sand to Easter-egg colored pigment and then applying it like icing to the canvas. Geoffrey masks the

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  • Rubin

    Dalzell Hatfield Galleries

    Rubin’s paintings are songs of Israel, of its people of its traditions and of its landscape. Gentle, at times pathetically lyrical, there is nevertheless an exhuherance of rich color that evokes a kind of spiritual, yet not wholly religious, temper. Themes occur and re-occur: The Goldfish Vendor, The Drummer, The Sheepshearer, The Musicians of Safed, Mimosa, Pomegranates, Mother and Child, Road to Nazareth, Rest on the Flight, The Rabbi. As Rubin paints again and again variations of the same motif, it becomes very personal yet somehow the esthetic seldom escapes its European genesis. Born in

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  • Marion Aldrich

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Shown for the first time at the Rex Evans Gallery, Marion Aldrich was recently “discovered” by Vincent Price. Her small and quite simple watercolors have met with immediate popular approval. At a larger scale and in a more permanent medium, they might fit with the new figurative paintings. That is to say, they combine something of the abstract and the descriptive in totally compatible terms. Diminutive as they are, they lack the inventive force of a John Marin sketch, yet are of the same ken. The artistic means employed are direct and fresh. Free, wet washes describe sky, hill, water or field.

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  • Group Show

    Galerie Deville

    The dark, wistful black and white landscape of Jack Simcock, the strange, carefully glazed still-lifes of Yves Ganne, and the vibrant expressionist oils of Christian Title, easily stand out as the most interesting works in an exhibition of better than average quality for this gallery.

    Arthur Secunda

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  • Jari Havlena

    Paul Rivas Gallery

    A cosy cosmos is depicted here. Small squarish shapes float and overlap on middle-value backgrounds. Miss Haylena’s tip-topped view is so timid, neat and prosaic that you can wander through all of her paintings and constructions while standing in the same mental cubbyhole. The colors are pleasant and the constructions seem to have all been dusted before they were allowed to rust. A housewifely job with the painter’s means deserves the credit for this emotional thimbleful.

    R. G Wholden

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  • Group Show

    Michel Thomas Gallery

    Not much logic or meaning or consistency of performance in this exhibit of works by Max Band, Jorgen Hansen, Ruth Erlich, Ted Gilian, Al Wien, James McMennamin, Marc du Plantier and Alice Asmar, but a surprising number of serious essays are nevertheless present. More careful and sensitive planning and editing in the selection of the show would have made it one of more memorable substance.

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  • Holiday Show

    Ryder Gallery

    A mixed grill of small things. The star billing would seem to go to the ceramics of Bertil Vallien for a series of witty pot sculptures. They are nicely impertinent and make capital use of the medium. Of the paintings, Lee Hill and Dean Spille are represented by workmanlike smaller oils.

    Douglas McClellan

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  • Group Show

    Heritage Gallery

    Works by gallery regulars and visiting San Francisco painters vie for the viewer’s attention in an exhibition that seems a hodge-podge rather than a potpourri. Only the veteran West Coast painter Louis Siegriest manages to retain any cogency amidst the din of the surrounding walls. The other artists represented seem to have selected less than their best efforts for this show.

    R. G Wholden

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  • Group Show

    Raymond Burr Gallery

    Featuring a half-dozen or so artists of ordinary talent, the work of Paul Jasmin is emphasized in this exhibition of popular tastes. Jasmin is fun, decorative, tightly detailed, figure-illustrationful, ingratiating, and harmless.

    Arthur Secunda

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  • Raymond Parker

    Paul Kantor Gallery

    Light, watercolor essays by Raymond Parker; singly they are inconsequential, as a group, they provide an interesting insight into his work.

    Joan Hugo

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  • Roger L. Majorwicz

    Feingarten Galleries

    Majorowicz is a young sculptor, now teaching in Illinois; the work shown covers a period of several years and apparently represents an evolution of style. Time spent in Italy on a Fullbright seems to have made a difference in his approach. Early work is based on a warrior theme in bronze, with frequent use of flying shapes, wings and draperies, as a foil for fairly static figuration. Then a new phase, work in wood of elaborate, rounded, perforated columns in which this baroque taste now comes fully to the fore. If the work remains somewhat aloof, it is nevertheless the work of someone of

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