Los Angeles

F. E. McWilliam

Felix Landau Gallery

Evidence of McWilliam’s association with the British Surrealist group in the late thirties persists in his present work in which influences of both Henry Moore and Giacometti are at times all too visible. But McWilliam is a fine craftsman and particularly adept at handling large surfaces that are filled with tantalizing forms. In fact, the surface easily dominates the total, fragmenting the effect of what otherwise has potential monumentality. This is true in Icon and Baal, both of which employ an over-all reference to the human form in a manner similar to the primitive Figure of Lipchitz. The resultant statement, however, is less direct. In fact, there is an effectiveness of scale in the small Study for Baal that is minimized in the large piece. Some of the most independent and exciting works come from 1959—Trial and Pentachord are two. Both, although free-standing, are treated in a relief manner. Here the total abstraction of the over-all form allows the image to emerge from its surface without competition, gaining much in the concentration of attention given it. Although less ambitious than later works, the pieces have a unity of material and idea that is highly effective.

Constance Perkins