San Francisco

Lewis Carson

New Mission Gallery

This young collagist’s one-man show is decidedly hesitant and perhaps premature. Carson nails metal, cloth and wood to boards and then paints the objects over in the somber colors associated with the San Francisco idiom. As assemblages these pieces fail to work because there is little interplay between materials and almost no interest in them. However, these constructions do not make very exciting paintings either, because the surface is divided up into sections that are all roughly the same size, thereby eliminating any center of interest. Beyond all this, a work of art uses the materials at hand to say something about life. The materials at Lewis Carson’s hands are, for the most part, being misused for technical exercises. The exceptions to this are his small collages which are well-cared-for piles that point to an intriguing microcosmos. Carson’s plastic ingenuity does not survive expansion.

Joanna C. Magloff