Los Angeles

Douglas McClellan

Scripps Col­lege

This exhibition is an extensive (63 works) review of Douglas McClellan’s work done during the years 1956 through 1963. The media include oils, casein and ink, and wood constructions. The earlier pieces, ranging from 1956 through 1959 and including The Quarry (1955), Hes­peria (1957) and Fissionable Object (1959) are finished and attractive state­ments, using natural forms as a starting point and utilizing keen senses of color and two dimensional design. There is a middle period which includes the wood constructions, none of which impressed me, and a much fragmented approach to depicting a subject. Colors become strident, and in many cases textured col I age areas are introduced into the paintings. None of these works satis­fied, but the whole group shows a search for broader and wider directions. In his most recent works, there has been a return to a smoother paint sur­face in the oil medium, and there is a series utilizing tigers as subject mat­ter. Tigers in their natural state are both decorative and menacing, and it takes a few moments study to realize that the animals are more than just dec­orations, but have been used to expand the works into an almost surrealistic direction. These works project much stronger psychological and symbolical communication than the earlier works; at the same time the sense of two dimensional design is more controlled, more subtle. Tiger Riding, Commit­tee of Tigers, and Suspended Tiger are all examples that come off very well.

H. J. Weeks