San Francisco

Marjorie Allen

Galerie de Tours

Oil and lacquer paintings by a Big Sur artist of more than ordinary imagination which stress fantasy, and at times bor­der on the surreal. Mrs. Allen claims, however, that there is no skull work in her painting, that she “just puts what seems to belong there.” And what be­longs there seems often to be either wondrous or monstrous growths, some so benign a fascinated child can play with them, some tentacled and preda­tory, like undersea venus-flytraps. Her colors, ranging from otherworldly greys to brilliant, hallucinatory hues, become symbolic in themselves. One wonders, then, if further intellectualizing would strengthen or destroy the chimerical qualities of her works. In the light of present-day psychology, where self-anal­ysis is an indoor sport, they must pro­voke it, yet to analyze could be to destroy them. Because, when she ra­tionalizes, in such figure studies as The Little Dancer, she becomes mere­ly banal. 

––E. M. Polley