Los Angeles

Howard Warshaw Mural

University of California at Santa Barbara

Howard Warshaw’s mural painting of Ulysses is completed and on view at Ortega Com­mons on the University of California at Santa Barbara campus. It is 76 feet across and 8 feet high. (However, because of a projection under the wall, 6 inches are not visible from below.) The mural is painted in Liquitex direct­ly on the plaster wall, which was pre­pared with six coats of gesso. The mural was begun under authorization of Clark Kerr, president of the University of California and Acting Chancellor of UCSB, Elmer Noble.

The theme is that of Homer’s Odyssey and the epic story of Ulysses. Warshaw developed the theme and plan of the mural directly on the wall as he worked and only used the numerous drawings, made in the. last four years, as sources of information for himself after he was “on the wall.” These studies were made of a particular image so that he would have a complete and thorough vocabu­lary of the subject matter before he began to apply his drawings to the wall surface.

The mural reads from left to right, beginning with the first figure of the blind Homer with his elbow in a win­dow appealing to the muse to assist him in telling his story.

It is a Classic theme with contempor­ary classical treatment. Warshaw has reached new artistic heights in the creation and execution of this mural which may well prove to be his forte in the field of art. The color although strong and vivid in areas is actually monochromatic and is limited in range in any given area. The major use of color is for punctuation.

The drawing is vigorous, masterful and honest. The mural has a powerful dynamic movement of volume, form and space. The overall theme is that of metamorphosis and transformation. This concept also reflects the growth of Warshaw as a superb muralist.

Harriette von Breton