Los Angeles

“The Object Maker”

Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut

Collected from south­ern California studios and galleries, this group of over 40 objects makes a re­spectable show, being as it is quite elegantly installed by yards of space. The hit of the show is a magnificent machine Akinomatic Gear Assembly by Lawrence A. Wahlstom, an amateur gadgeteer who has patiently assembled hundreds of gears, cogs, axles and oth­er parts, producing a machine that makes a very complex and enchanting business out of doing absolutely noth­ing but run. Somehow this craftsmanly earnestness mocks the absurdity of the machine age in a more penetrating way than the gag objects with all their surface wit or the collations of the various awfuls of affluence by a man like Ar­man. Work in the “object” genre seems to split into two camps, those devices that exploit the shock of subject mat­ter or association, and those construc­tions that use chance materials to make handsome constructions. Of the former, Kienholz, Rauschenberg, and Herms have the most potent broth; of the latter, John Bernhardt’s Totem and Charles Frazier’s Albion are es­thetically “right.”

––Doug Mc­Clellan