Los Angeles

Allan Blizzard

Rex Evans Gallery

This group of recent paintings (1962 and 1963) by Allan Blizzard, recently appointed to the Scripps College art faculty, focuses on portraits. The artist was intrigued with a book by Ira Glackens, “William Glackens and the Ash Can School,” with the result that many of the paintings in the exhibition are of either Glackens or Robert Henri.

Blizzard likes to place his subjects in front of brightly colored, highly decorative backgrounds reminiscent of the tapestry hangings of Matisse and the wallpaper interiors of Vuillard. This flat background serves as a foil for the well-defined three-dimensionality of the foreground figure.

The artist’s occasional use of collage-pasting on extra layers of canvas, squares of embroidery, etc.—gets out of control. His deft and smooth handling of paint is pleasant in itself, but it is not forceful enough to work with the bold collage materials.

The paintings would do better if seen separately. The hot reds and sour greens work well with the decorativeness of the background area; however, in a group, the color becomes noticeably narrow.