Los Angeles

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 separate materials beautifully with graceful lines and an over-all effect of pleasure to the eye and hand; yet it definitely was a work of this time. (It would be most interesting to watch the work age, for a part of its current appeal is the beautiful interplay of light new wood with bright metal.) The other outstanding work, George Tsutakawa’s “Mabae,” in welded sheet bronze played an ovoid globular shape against a series of flat supporting shapes that hold the globe within them, while within the almost solid globe, a slit revealed another straight flat shape played against the encompassing globe.

The rest of the exhibition is of high quality. Most of the works date from 1962–63, with only a few from 1960 or 1961. Among other works which seemed either especially fine efforts in themselves or particularly good examples of an artist’s style were John Mason’s “Cross Form,” Claire Falkenstein’s “Integrated Structure,” Maria Schulthess’ “Rondo Brasso Rilievo,” John Paul Jones’ “Man From Verdun,” Jack Stuck’s “Figure,” and Marjorie Burgstahler’s “Standing Figure Number One.” Dennis Hopper’s “Crusade,” construction of a stereoscope, a fencer’s mask and other materials was a witty example of the assemblage school. Robert Bassler’s “Volaris” is a wood piece assembled and shaped into a smooth, touchable shape, and Fred Powell’s “Tidal Pool” a wood sculpture worked so that the artist was firmly in control of his material, and used it to produce a work of definite distinction.

Peter Voulkos’ “Remington #2,” a bronze cast piece looking as if it were constructed of slabs of bricks, was installed in a way which did not do justice to the work, the most three-dimensional aspect of the work being turned so that it was most difficult to see. With this single exception, the exhibition was beautifully installed. The size of the galleries is limited, and 34 works on perhaps thirty pedestals could easily have turned into a forest or maze.

Rosalind G. Wholden