Los Angeles

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 point of view to the mixed media in which she works. Her paintings have a poetic quality, but are still uneven. She combines plastic, adhesives, pigment and earth to build up a dimensional relief surface. Many of the paintings have great depth. Her “King’s Canyon” is a magical impression of a mighty landscape with vast spatial structure and form.

Lundy Siegriest is at present experi­menting with new materials and tech­niques though he shows 8 oils in his earlier idiom. In the new work one sees a tremendous creative drive and willing­ness to explore fully, develop new images, and master new techniques. The surfaces of this recent group, some just barely dry, have a sculptured quality. Because of the way Lundy uses this mixed media, (clear asphalt emulsion, tempera color, oil, sand, rocks, gravel and even mica), he creates an exciting textured surface. “Golden Season,” is practically a bas relief, with beautiful linear forms, molded and hidden, over­lapped and incised. There is an ancient copper sulphate glow in some areas. “Excavation” is a rich organic modeled stone eroded and structural with a feel­ing of fire, earth, water, and sky dis­solved and refined.

Louis Siegriest originally worked in an extremely realistic style and insists that his paintings are landscapes and not abstractions. He prefers to paint his landscapes from the very earth from which they are derived distillations. His images are of the essence: deserts, fields, space, and subtle formed ridges. “Gold Ridge” is a gigantic scaled form pushed up through rich color modula­tions with a volcanic thrust. “Blue Des­ert” is a deep blue-black night-bound landscape with the delicate tracery of the desert night etched across its sur­face.

Edna Stoddard too prefers to dig her own pigments from the earth, and mixes them with poly-vinyl and other colors. Her paintings are more playful and she uses anything that comes to hand: glass beads (which she scatters like seeds), pieces of enamel, wire, anything. She is a mystic. “Angel with Violet Eyes” is a wonderfully absurd cherub on a dark space background, with ridiculous wings and an arbitrary red band tied lovingly around the middle of the torso, obvious­ly with electric violet eyes. “Lovers in a Persian Garden,” has a rich-beaded, practically embroidered surface. A very personal statement of dreams, visions and poetry.

Harriette von Breton