Los Angeles

“California Artists”

Downey Museum of Art

Three Los Angeles galleries—Comara, Rivas and Roples—have loaned representative paintings by members of their stables to this show which runs through late October. Edward Reep’s “Solitude” is a particularly impressive, deep green asymmetric composition with a nicely felt balance of activity. Gordon Nunes’ “Interior with Figures” is an ambitious effort which fails to unify a variety of figurative content and shows a sketchy lack of finish. John Hultberg’s formula of frames within frames and strong color contrasts works as well as ever in his handsome, rather flashy entries. Irene and Gerd Koch are each represented with a pair of paintings. Gerd’s thicket paintings are innocuous but repetitious. Irene’s form is more adventurous and her color more lyrical, without subsiding into “feminine” softness. John Levee’s “August 1, 1961,” is easily the strongest work in the show, joining as it does rich paint handling and strong color to a tasteful abstract expressionist informality. Jack Stuck shows near-pop-art works of bathers at pool side, with the forced foreshortening distortion of feet, in a clinical, tiled and airless environment which is effectively if irritatingly descriptive. Hartman’s jazzy abstract expressionist canvases and Willie Suzuki’s playground figures complete a versatile cross section of some current directions in southern California painting.

Gerald Nordland