reviews

  • “Six Painters and the Object” and “Six More”

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    These concurrent shows attempt to focus on those recent directions in painting in which the common object, sign, or the imagery of mass communications become the prime subject matter, in other words Pop Art. The former exhibi­tion is the touring version of the show organized earlier this year by Lawrence Alloway for the Guggenheim Museum and limited to painters working in and around New York, most of whom, unfor­tunately, are inadequately represented. Six More, also selected by Alloway, fo­cuses on work by California artists. To avoid the provincialism inherent in the selection methods of both

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  • Gabriele Münter

    Dalzell Hatfield Gallery

    It is certainly more good luck than merit to be at the right place at the right time, but it means nothing if one is not aloof and courageous enough to step forth in the right direction. Gabriele Münter’s name will forever be remem­bered because she stepped forth with the “firsts,” with the avant-garde of modern art, fifty years ago.

    Gabriele Münter returned to Germany in 1900 from a two year visit with rela­tives in the U.S.A. She settled in Munich in order to continue her studies in painting, but the traditional schools did not suit her. She enrolled, in 1902, as one of the few students in

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  • Jean Tinguely

    Dwan Gallery

    In this exhibition of very recent work, Tinguely has assembled a group of machines that seem for the first time to affect a mood of philosophic affirmation. These are not the anti-machines of earlier shows, rather, they are creations that transcend the cultural implications of mechanics and fall somewhere between the limits of human and motor-driven activity. Al­though they are closely related to, and use the same materials as his earlier work, the found-object, assemblage as­pects have been de-emphasized. Instead, there is a strong sense of sculptural in­tegrity. The pieces are seen as whole

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  • Llyn Foulkes

    Rolf Nelson Gallery

    This young artist is engaged in continu­ously repeating, varying, and refining the environment of graphic and dia­grammatic memorabilia which proved so convincingly abundant in his last one-man show at the Pasadena Art Mu­seum. Foulkes is gradually simplifying­—even classicizing—his compulsive and formerly claustrophobic nostalgia. He seems as well to share the scientific curiosity of a Leonardo with Ernst’s nightmare romanticism. From this fertile ground have sprung his enlarged, hand­made “photographs” of hallucinations (dark silhouettes of body parts, animals, and mountains) which are rendered

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  • Gabrielle Kahn

    David Stuart Galleries

    Deliberate machine-wrought wood sculp­tures whose laminations and doweling reveal Kahn’s intention to design both close-up and perspective encounters with his constructions. This attention to detail expresses itself visually rather than tactiley for the rough finished hulks do not invite caressing. A vora­cious maw is the major shape which can swell into an archway or contract into a tooth. Triangular and slab ele­ments establish angles of direction which are buttressed by bevelled scoops or intersected by pivoting fillets and cubes. Kahn’s work has a curiously modular effect, implying a joiner’s

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  • Sidney Nolan

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Painting the landscape of Australia, No­lan’s loose semi-transparent dyes are illusionistically textured to evoke dunes and marshes. While the effects are fanciful and handsome their facile- sur­face has too much in common with the marbleized end papers used in book binding. Less conventional when dealing with the legends of his country or Greek mythology, Nolan is preoccupied with the eternal demonic. Re-surrounded by aboriginal creation, his civilized beings become phantasmagorical apparitions who achieve flesh and blood only by plunging themselves into the dark drama of nature. “Mrs. Frazer

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  • “32 Americans”

    I Gallery, La Jolla

    The I Gallery’s inaugural show is impressive­ly rostered. A lot of variety for rooms not overlarge, but unbewilderingly arranged. There are constructions, oils, gouaches, bronzes, lithos, collages, drawings.

    Lithographs are by Louise Nevelson, Sam Francis, Diebenkorn, Vicente, Rob­ert Mallary, Yunkers. In a sense all the lithos are successful. That is, the artist says in this medium what he’s said in others. Diebenkorn’s cave girl is the same careless self she was when she was larger and set by the window with brushmarks in her lap. Nevelson pro­jects her complex concern for antiquari­an elegance

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  • Thomas Cornell

    Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

    This show of fifteen etchings from the series “Men of the French-Revolution,” eighteen pencil and wash drawings and sixteen paintings, is strong, honest, and undecorated.

    The etchings, soon to be published in a limited edition by the Gehenna Press of Leanard and Esther Baskin, subtly range in style from two linear Ingres-­like studies of the Baheuf Brothers to a Goyaesque Danton to a banger of a black-and-white Marat. This unique series is a stylistic and technical tour de force as well as an impressive study in characterization.

    Of the figure and portrait drawings the sketches for the etching

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  • Larry Rink

    Wooden Horse Gallery, La­guna Beach

    Larry Rink is an artist who seeks to express the inter-relationship of the sea and the shore. The subject matter is one that has been neglected by most current artists. The painting of the sea seems to have gone, by default, to those who feel that the tradition of sea­scape must not be tampered with, that curling transparent green waves topped with white foam is the only way to paint the sea. Rink’s approach to the sea is diametrically opposite to this; he uses a controlled action-painting technique while steeping himself in the sea (lit­erally, as the picture on the cover of the handsome

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  • Robert Thomas, Conway Pierson, Ann Perkoff

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    These investigative bronze castings ex­ploit some of the possibilities of lost wax casting. In reinvestigating lost wax casting these two instructors at the Uni­versity of California in Santa Barbara have built their own equipment and are doing their own casting. The exciting process has been recorded by the lucid, unaffected photographs of Ann Perkoff, and these in turn have been incorpor­ated into the show.

    Unfortunately, many of the pieces ex­hibit the disadvantages of new mate­rials and new untempered freedoms. The fact that the word “piece” often seems more appropriate than “sculpture”

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  • The Siegriest Family

    Gallery de Silva, Santa Barbara

    For the first time the Siegriest family (Louis, his wife Edna Stoddard, and Louis’ son, Lundy) are having a venturesome combined show. Hung simultaneously are 50 works of all the Siegriests. All three have ex­hibited their paintings in major muse­ums and galleries throughout the Uni­ted States, Canada and Mexico. Lundy Siegriest has shown in over 150 exhibi­tions since 1947.

    Lundy’s wife Gerry Politeau is the sole newcomer and is showing her work for the first time. Her work is derivative of Louis Siegriest, as well as closely linked with that of her husband. Nevertheless she brings a special

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  • Ray Brown

    Ceeje Gallery

    In man's consciousness the idea of choice has been usually approached from the point of view of alternatives. Ray Brown is aware that sequence differs from po­larity. By simultaneously juxtaposing variants of the same scene he illumi­nates the shared and relative character of choice, setting for himself in the meantime some very challenging pic­torial dilemmas. The two sides of his doubled image canvases are autono­mous color tonalities which at the same time work together. Variations in ges­ture, shadow and value alter the expres­sion of the analogous paintings while Brown occasionally

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  • Ninth Annual All California Show

    Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, Calif.:

    This year, the All California show, arranged by the Laguna Beach Art As­sociation, and housed on the grounds of the Laguna Arts Festival, was not an in­vitational show, but a juried one. The award money was increased to $500, $300, and $200. Two well known jurors were imported from New York: Thomas M. Messer, of the Guggenheim Museum, and Robert Brackman, painter and teacher. There were two Categories for the 1300 entries: “Realistic” for Mr. Brackman, “Abstract” for Mr. Messer. (This absurd division was carried so far that each selection in the catalog was initialed “m” or “b”. Both men gave

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  • Wesley Johnson

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    Johnson, a young Ojai ar­tist, exhibits twelve recent paintings which show a concern for color and action. Luckily, he has a natural feeling for paint and color, and the paintings come off. They are out-of-doors gay Ojai warm, and pleasing, but seem to be too much on the surface. There is a ten­dency to paint the same picture in dif­ferent colors and in different paint qualities. “Spring 2,” for example, is “Spring 1” in more impasto, heavier lines, less wash areas and more pastel colors; “Winter Growth” is the same pic­ture in greens and blues. There is a compositional device which probably

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  • All-City Art Festival

    Barnsdall Mu­nicipal Park

    Each year aboard the little yellow bus that jogs up to the exhibition structures, filled with families out to see how much the fee for ridicule has gone up, with folk singers and retired art teachers and neighborhood young­sters hitching a ride, an incorrigible American optimism about community excellence conspires with the smog and sunlight to send hundreds of paintings and people to the park. The popsicles are perfect, you can overhear some pretty funny conversations and nature seldom seems more inventive as each blade of grass is contrasted with the yards of painted surfaces garnishing the

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  • José Muñoz

    Zora's Gallery

    Aligned with the “Nueva Presencia,” Muñoz’ recent works dispense with his early cylindrical simplifications of the human body. Now he creates stoney angular be­ings whose massive bones stretch within their chunky muscles and sallow skins as if the very skeletons were fighting to master their fleshly wrappings. In­spired by the terse and moving poems of Nezahualcoyotl, a 15th-century Lord of Tezcoco, Muñoz’ genuine sentiment, the pride and anguish he feels for his people, unfortunately are not sufficient to make him a good painter. He lacks the necessary sensuous intuition.

    Rosalind G. Wholden

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  • Group Exhibition

    J. Cook Gallery

    Cleopatra is the theme of this group of collages, paintings, and drawings. Most are by Joseph Cook himself, with a few done especially for the exhibition by his friends. The movie extravaganza receives most of the attention, with emphasis on the much publicized antics of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. One paint­ing-collage shows a man and a woman reclining on a beach. The female torso is rendered in sun-tanned oil paint, and topped by a paper cut-out of Elizabeth Taylor’s head; a white paper bikini par­tially conceals the famous curves. The rest of the show follows along the same line. It

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  • Group Show

    New World Gallery

    Nine artists, mostly local, are to be seen at this new gallery in Alhambra. The strongest work is by Benjamin Serrano who, although not yet independent of European influences, nevertheless ex­hibits a degree of vitality that may come to something both personal and effec­tive. Phyllis Barczak, on the other hand is tempted to sink into either a sentimentalized romanticism or a superficial cartoon style. James Gilbert is best in his large figure work but the effort to gain force is self-conscious. Ruth Lubin has experimented with a number of print techniques. As yet she has not come to any comfortable

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  • Japanese Woodblock Prints

    Sabersky

    The art of the Ukiyee holds a charm unmatched in Western culture. These “pictures of the floating world” celebrate the genre with a delicacy of poetic refinement. The collection at the Sabersky gallery is one of small greeting cards dating from 1795 to 1850. Done by masters of the period, Hokusai, Eishi, Shumman, Hokkei and others, their simplicity and formal restraint make them little gems of an art form that reflects the depths of Japanese tradi­tion and philosophy.

    C. P.

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  • Louis Hougotts and Bob Moore

    Robin Metz Gallery

    Louis Hougotts’ “draw­ings of humor and protest” are primari­ly in ink or pencil line with occasional attempts at a heavier chiaroscuro and some wash. Although there is a certain facility indicated, it is not sufficient to raise the level of the work above ama­teur status. Bob Moore presents a vari­ety of drawings, prints, sculptures and mobiles. Except for one drawing, the portrait pieces are rather inadequate attempts at commercial illustration and the prints offer little more than experiments in an intaglio medium. Some of the bronze sculptures do a bit more. “Apartment #2” goes the fur­thest

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  • Group Show

    Martin Janis Gallery

    Now moved to the La Cienega area, the Martin Janis Gallery offers a variety of paintings and prints by a number of big names: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Berthe Morisot, Kandinsky, Matta, Miró, Pollock, Motherwell, Gottlieb, de Koening, Guston, Albers and Grandma Moses, an un­expected companion. Two featured pieces bear the signatures of Blume and de Chirico, yet neither exhibits the real vitality of which the artists were capable. Neither the magic in which Blume enveloped his romantic realism, nor the nostalgia that pervaded de Chi­rico’s works is present. Granted, the de Chirico piece refers

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  • Stephen Sheldon

    Little Gallery

    The technical dexterity of some of the draw­ings by Stephen Sheldon reflects the ar­tist’s commercial experience. The bull­fight series, in particular, has a kind of drama with a touch of humor that could lend itself to either animation or, be­cause of Sheldon’s interest in detail, to costume design for the theater. Outside of a certain decorative charm, they add little to the field of graphics, however colorful they are momentarily.

    C. P.

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  • Estaban Toth

    Raymond Burr Galleries

    A Hungarian sculptor enamored with svelt curves only slightly more streamlined than those of Ingres’ “Source,” Toth’s affectionate polishing and emphatic utilization of wood-grain enhancements for breasts and bellies reveal a quaint (by current attitudes) penchant for the delectable. Mysterious­ly his ladies suffer a dwindling malady from the hips downward. While his series of small bronzes are more “modernis­tic,” their cliches have no patina of age to afford them a semblance of ele­gance as is the case with the wood sculptures.

    Rosalind G. Wholden

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  • Group Show

    Gallery Arles

    Neither adequately lighted, identified not attended, the group sow ar the Arles Gallery has little opportunity to be seen as much more than an amateur effort. Although there is little choice to be made, the works of J. Fisher came off best in spite of their immature handling of color and roughness of treatment. It is about time that the art market should level off, weeding out some of the inadequate works put up for sale. Sincere as both artists and dealers may be, there is a limit to public gullibility. 

    C. P.

     

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