Los Angeles

Oliver Andrews

Barnsdall Municipal Art Gallery

Essentially, no matter what the material, these are two-sided or frontal sculptures. Frontality, according to Arnold Hauser, is an indication of ceremonial or courtly art, but in Andrews’ work we are confronted by a stareless blank. Perhaps this is exactly his intention since in the brochure to the show he is quoted as saying, “I am forging weapons with which to cut away what we know too much about so that we may have room to remember the unknowable.” The objects exhibited certainly throw the viewer back on his own reserves, since taken as a whole they indicate a lack of direction for their maker. The metalwork of 1955 seems a skewer period. The Red Planet and Lure are flat grid arrangements of spikes and steel whiskers. Painted or baked clay Figures from 1961 are examples of Andrews’ concept of additive sculpture; the lumps and amorphic patches do agglomerate around a supporting ridge pole but there seems to be no internal necessity for the present distribution. By far the most effective works are the more recent metal sculptures. Ember Doll, a garrulous looking figure, is made of tin cans and metal crescents all painted red. Pieces of torn sieving create a counterpoint to the larger rectangular openings in Allegorical Figure. It is Andrews’ sole example of integrating form and void.

Rosalind G. Wholden