Los Angeles

Frank Sardisco


The rich­ness and glow of heavy glazes over elab­orate underpainting are the language of this younger painter. Fresh from a one­-man show at the Pasadena Art Museum, Sardisco expands his material to in­clude many smaller works which add to the sense of range within the style he has chosen. Typical would be Re­flections, a near-monochrome of deep red activated by textural variations that become soft shapes. The value range is close, almost monotonous, so that texture and color subtleties can smolder effectively. But as long as the sense of value and shape must be subordinate to the textural predictability of the under­painting and enamel-like modulations of glazing, the essential statement must remain transient. In the most recent Midnight Heritage however, Sardisco has subordinated the texture and sauce for a more controlled organization of shape and color with handsome results. Now the lozenges carry a movement of more defined color through the painting and texture has become a subtle coun­terpoint rather than an obvious device. Another departure can be found in Falling Shapes––Red Sun in which the shapes, being more referential to landscape, become a foil to the acti­vated surface with exciting results. Sar­disco is trapped by one aspect of his highly indirect technique: the finished surface of the painting is so glossy that it is difficult to view the paintings without being victimized by one light source or another and the sense of looking “into” the paintings that is so appropriate to his image, becomes im­possible.

––Doug Mc­Clellan