San Francisco

Karl Kasten

Hollis Gallery

Kasten’s artistic mentors seem to have relaxed their pressure on his recent work. The slackening of Hofmannesque tension turns into a gentler expression, dealing with forms in landscape atmosphere.

The increase in scale over the paintings shown at his last exhibition (in 1962) seems to be totally justified. The clusters of forms surrounded by deep tertiary color favored by the artist are more closely locked together in this show than the last. The extra space around the forms is a positive asset when deeply worked, as in these paintings, and quite distinct from its rather flat decorative use in earlier works. At this point Kasten’s painting still remains rather under-worked. One feels more deep digging would result in work with a correspondingly higher degree of expressiveness.

James Monte