reviews

  • Nathan Oliveira

    U.C.L.A. Art Galleries

    This exhibition covers the past five years of Oliveira’s work and includes over 60 pictures. The main body of work, paintings from 1957 through 1960, reinforces the artist’s image of himself as a kind of western hemisphere Giacometti. His well-known generalized personages suffer repetitiously under the weight of a violently opaque space.

    The greatest weakness in these pictures is exactly the attitude that has given them their current note. Oliveira’s approach to painting has involved a duality that is immediately antagonistic, confronting the same dilemma that faces most of the figure painters

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  • Henry Moore

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    The Henry Moore show of nearly 100 bronzes, wood and stone carvings, watercolors and drawings at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a rare compendium of his works for the West Coast. This great British master is heroic in style and prodigious in output and scale. The show is somewhat weighted with pieces from the post-war years and is not in chronological sequence, but this is of small consequence as Moore did not work in sequence but moved easily back and forth in his explorations of space and theme. His work ranges from the tender and lyrical Mother and Child bronzes to the tough and primitive

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  • Sam Francis

    I Gallery, La Jolla

    This is an important show because it’s Sam Francis’s work, and it is also somewhat unsatisfactory for the same reason. Of course the élan and virtuosity that characterize him always are here, and his delight in making objects the eye can live on. Maybe that’s enough. But seeing the 20 or so prints shown here is like watching an exhibition baseball game. All the skills run around and make some great plays, but it really doesn’t matter who wins. To say this is not to say that a man should have a new look every once in a while, but only that respect for a big man is lessened when one catches him

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  • “Primitivism in Modern Graphic Art”

    UCLA Art Galleries

    Around the turn of the century, all three major art movements—Expressionism, Fauvism and Cubism—came under the influence of African primitivism, each for its own reasons. The Expressionists were drawn to African sculpture for the directness of its emotional statement, the Fauves for its simplified shapes and flat decorativeness, and the Cubists for what seemed to be (for want of a better word) a “natural” abstraction.

    Because the word “primitivism” has become so strongly associated with this particular movement in this particular period of art history, we tend to lose sight of the fact that it

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  • Robert Cremean

    Esther-Robles Gallery

    This well-known young craftsman is deservedly the best Mannerist juggler of the tour-de-force in figurative sculpture. From a gesture’s initial conception to the final polish one feels only tension in the introduction of clearly stated problems, resolved by an over-riding intellect abetted by a skilled hand.

    Involved in a series of historically approved substitutions, Cremean now indulges in directly carved and refined trompe l’oeil. Formal, mechanical, and smoothly controlled mannequins, made from laminated wood sections, are released from those blocks to the extreme point that, on superficial

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  • James Gill

    Felix Landau Gallery

    James Gill is a good, deluded figure painter. In this show, including works of 1962 and 1963, we can see the tragedy of facility untempered by a personal philosophic stance. Gill’s 1962 oil paintings of nudes in suburban environments are marvelously witty if not exceptionally profound statements. His multiple image pictures—successive views, either in time or vantage point—are seductive approaches toward a solution of the space-time problem in figure painting. The failure, though, at least as far as can be told from this show, is that Gill just hasn’t gone far enough. He has been seduced into

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  • Thirty-Four Sculptors

    Long Beach State College

    Mr. William Hill, functioning as the new director of the Long Beach State College Art Gallery, opened the fall exhibition season with a show devoted to sculptors who he felt had defined an image for themselves. Thirty-four were chosen, a number with no particular significance. Half of the sculptors are from southern California, the other half from northern California, barring a light sprinkling of northwest sculptors and one Canadian. Approximately half of the sculptors are teachers.

    Two works were outstanding. Oliver Andrew’s “Figure,” a brand-new piece in bronze and mahogany combined two

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  • Richard Haines

    Laguna Beach Art Association Gallery

    Richard Haines, born in Iowa in 1906, has been on the southern California art scene since the early 1940’s, both as exhibitor and teach er. His latest exhibition is very colorful, and is about equally divided between figure studies and works based on either still-life or landscape themes. In all, the picture plane is very shallow, and all of the works have a decorative, pleasing quality, based primarily on carefully controlled color harmonies and simplified design. The level of abstraction varies, ranging from an almost realistic decorative rendering of building forms (“Noyo” ) through a work

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  • “Modern Paintings”

    Edgardo Acosta Gallery

    This show focuses primarily on the School of Paris. It includes some pleasant watercolors and gouaches of Renoir, an interesting, predominantly black Miró gouache, a Meitzinger still life; a couple of small, tasteful Braques, and so on. The most significant aspect of this group of pictures is in their ability to show just how shallow a major Venard looks when hung alongside the most minor work of the older Parisian masters. The exhibition also includes a Clave and two Noyers, which also make the older work look better by comparison.

    Don Factor

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  • David Simpson

    David Stuart Galleries

    Elegant, horizontally striped wall hangings in which Simpson deftly plays upon subtleties of color gradation, stripe-size and implied sequences of space to provide the viewer with facades of visual experience blind to any passageway into dimensions beyond the sensuous. “Speckled Bands” of 1961 includes amid the painter’s favorite blue-violet to red tonalities, matte and impasto black smudges and dabs. In 1962 Simpson used turpentine washes irregularly bleeding across otherwise halcyon surfaces of sienna, ochre and salmon stripes. The most recent works experiment with variations in canvas shapes.

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  • Andrew Staley Wing

    Wooden Horse Gallery

    Andrew Staley Wing uses Liquitex Acrylic Polymer Emulsion, in a technique he evolved after studying the works of the High Renaissance, with concentration on Titian. The fluid nature of his medium allows a free, easily flowing surface quality. Combining the free-flowing technique with a scumbling of color, Mr. Wing evolves what he calls environmental paintings. That is, these are works without direct reference to material objects or scenes, but pieces that generate an atmosphere of their own. The work “Precipice, 1962–3” plays red-brown and black shapes, the aftermath of a carefully calculated

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  • Alice Asmar

    Sabersky Gallery

    Huge sheets of rice paper, energetic pen and ink line, a facile hand, and hyper-active imagination are the ingredients of these delightful drawings by Alice Asmar.

    Subjects that include gigantic sunflowers in “Sunflower Fantasy,” a fanciful piece of driftwood that becomes “St. George’s Victorious Dragon,” and a Pacific Ocean Park backdrop for “Peggy’s Wash,” span 3 x 5' sheets of paper in a style of draftsmanship that combines the essence of High Gothic Rose Window tracery, 18th-century botanical illustration, and Japanese kakemono techniques.

    Line is supreme. Early drawings done while the artist

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  • William B. Dole

    Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

    Amazing William Dole has done it again. The show at the Esther Bear Gallery of collages, watercolors, and drawings are all new and have been produced since January of 1963. There is a new and different note in much of this new work. Having worked within the discipline of collage he is developing a new treatment of areas and edges. In his watercolors he is moving away from his former usually hard-edged, geometric style and shows a more fluid edge with many nuances and variations. He is also more concerned with texture in these watercolors. “Sun Setting Beach,” has a light quality and freedom that

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  • “International Watercolor Exhibition”

    Dalzell Hatfield Galleries

    The exhibit’s title gives a fair clue to its contents: a water-base potpourri of the great and the also-rans lumped together with uncritical impunity. Recovering from the actual physical shock entailed in the gleaning, the works exploiting the media to full advantage follow most expectedly. The gorgeous, plush blooms of Nolde, Feininger’s washed constructions, a Laurencin peppermint-sweet round dance, several settled Marins, and an opalescent Renoir “la Riviere” push the Gluckman, Rubin, Dobashi, and others off into deserved obscurity. Two calligraphic but plastic Rederer head studies and a pair

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  • “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

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  • Mark Fisher

    Cowie Galleries

    Boston born, pupil of Innes, Fisher (1841–1923) studied at Gleyre’s atelier and was an acquaintance of the Impressionists and American expatriates later in England. At seventy-eight, full membership in the Royal Academy came to him, the sole American so honored, by virtue, one concludes, of his venerable acceptability.

    Handily he reveals his sources in the Innes scraped blur and the broken “wet” stroke of the 19th-century landscape schools originated by Constable. Though in the midst of the milieu, Fisher conceived of Impressionism as the proliferation of unfinished value studies, placing him

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  • Erle Loran

    Comara Gallery

    Recent paintings bear witness to an amazingly fruitful period of product ion that Erle Loran has recently experienced. The large canvases, most of which have been done in the last six weeks, exhibit a new boldness. There is indeed, a feeling of excitement and involvement that heightens the visual experience afforded by these abstract pieces. The spontaneity with which Loran works is balanced by an unconscious sense of order. It is a feeling for the use of space which reflects his long interest in the works of Cézanne and his admiration for Franz Kline. Loran sees, as typical of American contemporary

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  • 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

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  • Mentor Huebner

    Cowie Wilshire Galleries

    Huebner paints postcard views of Paris and Spain in a pleasantly accomplished manner derived from the Impressionist period (1886) of Van Gogh, and that as seen in bleached color reproductions. There are the patterned strokes, but held tidy, marking time in a fidgety way. There is the impasto, but oh so slight. There is a clarity of tenuous contours, but tamed to politeness. The illumination is an even grey, smacking of studio concoction. His pure hues pop to the surface, destroying whatever space the drawing and value-color manage to convey, while the illusionistic perspective smacks against a

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  • Ray Sparks

    Art Center in La Jolla

    A surprising first show. Twenty-two oils (The Silent Revolution) and twelve ink-plus-watercolor (Sumi-Enogu). The oils comprise a set of plastic meditations sort of punctuated by, but not really related to, the sanskrit word with which each is entitled. The paintings, all vertical, are whiter than that crazy whale, and then some cloudy areas (rose, yellow, blue) form here and there, and then all is whitened again. But the clouds aren’t really diluted and retain some weather, an odd shy vigor.

    The twelve ink-and-watercolor exercises are no better and no worse than any other western idea of eastern

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  • Charles Beulcke

    Tanar Gallery

    Despite the permissive attitude of today’s culture mongering, friends of people-who-paint should hold themselves back from confusing the poor innocents into exhibiting as professionals. The critic forced to look at the entire work of Charles Beulcke in his first one-man show is overcome with a sense of poignancy that such harmlessly inept corn must be cut down as if it were full grown. Mr. Beulcke needs a teacher; on his own he has neither the talent nor the judgment to be able to distinguish anything that has to do with quality in a work of art.

    Rosalind G. Wholden

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  • J. S. Carl

    Paideia Gallery

    Miss Carl presents a shotgun scattering of drawings, oils, and sculptures on a sophomoric level, hitting wide of the mark, and belying her educational credits. The drawings demonstrate an undistinguished ability in accurate illustration, and the paintings are rigidly confined in a search for the fractured volume of chisel-stroked simplified planes caught in a beginner’s maelstrom of fundamental problems. The small sculptures are worse, contenting themselves with limp abstractions and repulsive surfaces. Her ambitious but static “The Offering” and two small, restrained landscapes manage to look

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  • Arthur Levine

    Ceeje Galleries

    Small scale and muted, somber tonality contribute charm and a refreshing change of pace to this group of paintings. One cannot help but immediately compare these landscapes, harbor scenes, and still life subjects with the 19th-century English and Dutch landscape artists, for the low-keyed color palette seems to be a direct revival of the subtleties of Constable and Turner.

    The paintings seem to function better as quick oil sketches than as finished oils. The loose, free application of paint produces a vigorous drawing, but sometimes at the expense of complete articulation. As a result, the

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  • “Autumn Exhibition”

    Los Angeles Art Association

    This exhibition is a hybrid; it started out to be the second half of the preceding month’s New Members Exhibition, but because the members’ works were quite small, a number of members who had not shown for some time were invited by the director to contribute to the exhibition.

    With any membership exhibition not based on a theme or a medium, the quality naturally varies. Each work must be looked at on its own, and comparisons of one work to another are not really valid, especially when the work of one person who is a novice may be placed next to a work by some person who has been painting for a

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  • Bookie Silverman

    Heritage Gallery

    Maudlin ink drawings and oils by an amateur painter with sufficient vanity and “art work” to fill a small gallery. Mrs. Silverman’s bilious color and bloated scaling have fashioned bouffant pictorial approximations bearing the same relationship to art as a wig has to follicled hair.

    Rosalind G. Wholden

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