Los Angeles


Martin Janis Gallery

A rich collection comprised of Grandma Moses, Streeter Blair, Hirschfield, Eilshemius, Lebduska and others. The art public needs no more raptures about the Great Grandma. The Eilshemius works, ranging in time from 1884 to 1916, are little gems of the kind which chil­dren, if they had the sense, would notice on merry-go-rounds, those little dreamlike landscapes filled with Me­lies-like castles, sirens and benign mon­sters. Two of the paintings display golden mermaids in grottos, a third, little pink turn-of-the-century Bardots frolicking in a stream. The Lebduskas count a pair of Uccello-like horses with false teeth gamboling amidst butter­flies and daisies, and a wonderful flood scene not so primitive but that we can not grieve for the fate of the half­-submerged scarlet phaeton and a dog about to be hanged from a tree. A lovely Doriani scene of grandfather watching the children with an early American Lionel train on what is likely Christmas morning, is a fine piece of crewel embroidery in oil. Tourneur in the Suwanoy Night Patrol reminds one of Max Ernst in this piece of carni­val surrealism with a flaming Redskin Aphrodite riding the surf in a conch drawn by three oriental sea serpents and flaying the waters with a whip of lightning. One of the nicest works, a Hirschfield house set in an 18th-century formal garden should delight the ad­mirers of Regency style. This little “nature methodized” scene is replete with stone vases, filled with white gran­ite flowers, box trees and self-satisfied doves. Additionally, the exhibition in­cludes several Mexican retablos, an especially nice one in which many dis­asters are occurring simultaneously—a train robbery, an ambush and the old ­rose swoon of a pompadoured lady be­ing consoled by her pregnant kitchen maid—the whole overseen by the Virgin in cloud-ringed splendor.

Mary Ewalt