Los Angeles

Robert Bosworth


Large, transparent watercolors that evoke an overall tranquility are the work of this Northwest architect-painter who has found his way toward the Orient through his admiration for Morris Graves. Tech­nically the works are akin to those fun experiments in which the paint, freely used, is allowed to find its own way but these are far removed from the juicy, happy accident approach to the medium. The colors, muted and thin, are unified by a very close value rela­tionship. The finished works are rubbed by hand to produce a silky finish and are framed meticulously, often in a panel series. The results have a hand­some rightness. In most there is no specific reference to nature but rather a universal embrace of the involve­ment with nature––grasses, tree pat­terns, water, become interchangeable elements in the same painting. But again, this may be misleading; they are not picture puzzles created by whim that demand to be interpreted. They are self-contained abstractions, having varied associational possibilities but al­ways within a definite and fixed exist­ence as esthetic surfaces. In some, such as the large single Untitled, there is a definite feeling of branch forms with­in the brown-grey colors, but even when speaking of specifics the paintings re­main passive and can become many things. The device of framed units with­in one panel gives unnecessary nip­ponized overtones at times, and as might be expected in one who holds the reins so lightly, Bosworth is not uniformly successful in creating “pictures” but, on the whole, his is one of the most original and poetic shows in some time.

––Doug Mc­Clellan