Los Angeles

Howard Warshaw

Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

The bulk of this show is composed of drawings and paintings made by Warshaw in conjunction with the execution of his mural of Ulysses at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also showing a series of drawings which are illustrations done for a book by Stephen Lackner and recently published in Munich.

The thematic paintings, results of the mural, are of unusual interest; they lend additional scope and insight into the development and evolution of mural and its final form. These paintings however also stand alone, complete and forceful entities. Warshaw worked them out frequently as a rehearsal or tactical problem to be used the next day on the mural. Some of them are variations on a theme that he would be developing. Studies for Homer and the Muse, has a magical quality of dimension and space that is commanding. In the paintings you see most of the figures and symbols of the mural, the pig-men, the suitor, Homer, but all with a more specific interpretation and rendering than the massive block images of the mural. They have rich drama and contrapuntal strength. Color is used for its function, as a musical embellishment might be, and not as a reference to either a rod or blue object.

The drawings or illustrations for Lackner’s book present another side of Warshaw. Humor and whimsy enhance many of the drawings. They are very small in size but many of them have immense sculptured concepts, unlimited by the dimension of the paper.

Harriette Von Breton