Los Angeles

Ben Abril

Cowie Wilshire Galleries

As was stated in the forward to the exhibition catalog, Ben Abril does not worry overmuch about the esthetic problems. There are, nevertheless, few artists among the many Southern California scene painters who so obviously enjoy their profession and also manage to convey this exuberance to the observer as does Abril. Whether his subject is taken from the rolling hills, beaches, sunlit slums, or suburbs, he makes swift bold statements in pure blazing colors that emphasize his enthusiasm as well as his often injudicious composition. He apparently accepts his vision without question, recording what he sees unaltered, unselected, and unrefined. But this is not to say Abril’s reportorial style is a characteristic without merit, for with it he fulfills his intent—to transport you to the site depicted recognizable with the same familiarity as the old family homestead. Among the more successful pieces in this prodigious display are Bridgeport and Temecula where the extensive background of Abril is evidenced in the proud play of fluid colors, light on dark, elevating these to something more than just pretty picture postcards.

Curt Opliger