Los Angeles

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 and the Convict” is an eerie shag of prisoner’s stripes and nude flesh among wild grasses. In the Leda series, “VI” is a startling drawing with a spread-limbed deep red configu­ration of woman and feathers penetrat­ing the whiteness of the page like the cry of a loon. The Australian, from this showing, seems limited in range to the kind of lyricism which thrives on im­plied imagery rather than explicit form.

Rosalind G. Wholden