reviews

  • “Mannerist Art”

    Pamona College

    The exhibition of Mannerist art at Pomona College, organized by Maurice Cope, Director of the Montgomery Art Center, is possibly the first of its kind on the West Coast. The exhibition brings together, in a meaningful context, sculpture, paintings, drawings, and prints assembled largely from this area but often not easily accessible.

    Through the stimulus which recent Mannerist studies have given to problems in this period the exhibition will excite the interest of students and scholars. Today Mannerist art enjoys a growing public awareness. The term and concept of Mannerism, generated from within

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  • George Herms

    Rolf Nelson Gallery

    Herms’ assemblages continue to reflect, of necessity, his immediate environment through the availability and selection of materials. His litter has in common only the denominator of despair. These earthen, rusted, and gritty resources have passed far beyond the state of repair or contemporary easy appreciation of the warmly timeworn and are redeemed only by his stamped benediction of “LOVE.”

    Held together by a blended patina of disreputable age, the organization of his worm-tracked, grained and flaked wooden plaques, faceted photograms, rags and roadside debris, feathers and false red rubies,

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  • “Director's Choice”

    Pasadena Art Museum

    The Director’s Choice show at the Pasadena Art Museum presents the personal selections of the new Acting Director, Walter Hopps, in an improved format from prior years. The exhibition displays works by artists who have had major shows during the preceding year (the memorable Kandinsky, Nolde and Duchamp exhibitions, the Antoni Tapies, Viennese Expressionist and John McLaughlin shows), and selections within the primary directions in which the Museum is concentrating its collection. These categories are the Blue Four group and other German Expressionists, pre-Columbian Art, Oriental and old and

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  • “The Putnam Dana McMillan Collection”

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara

    The Putnam Dana McMillan Collection in the McCormick Gallery at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a superb collection of 20th-century painting. (McMillan left the major portion of his fine collection to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in his home city.) The collection represents many of the finest artists of our century. Chagall, Kokoschka, Leger, Modigliani, Picasso, Rouault, Vlaminck, Beckmann, Monet, Matisse, Vuillard and many others are included in this carefully chosen collection.

    Portrait of Putnam D. McMillan, 1957, by Oskar Kokoschka is a remarkable painting, enriched with the human

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  • “Early Modern Paintings by California Artists”

    It is good to realize how much was going on here before Los Angeles became either an art center or a market. The artists whose works appear in this show were obliged, in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, to ship their work East to show and gain recognition. Many of them are still painting here today and no longer have to cope with this problem. While the purpose of the exhibition may have been to present for our reconsideration certain concepts and tendencies that bear directly on the art of today, the shadow seems cast rather backward than forward. Though there is a clear continuum of style which marks

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  • “Early Modern Paintings by California Artists”

    Long Beach Museum of Art

    It is good to realize how much was going on here before Los Angeles became either an art center or a market. The artists whose works appear in this show were obliged, in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, to ship their work East to show and gain recognition. Many of them are still painting here today and no longer have to cope with this problem. While the purpose of the exhibition may have been to present for our reconsideration certain concepts and tendencies that bear directly on the art of today, the shadow seems cast rather backward than forward. Though there is a clear continuum of style which marks

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  • Craig Kauffman

    Ferus Gallery

    A familiar younger artist in both Los Angeles and San Francisco is showing new work that marks a decisive change of form, if not content, from his older oil-on-canvas paintings. The attenuated and passively sexual imagery (deriving perhaps from Yves Tanguy’s science fiction surrealism of the late nineteen-thirties) has been made to jump through a newer and smaller hoop via up-dated technical innovation.

    The loose treatment of form and the expressive handling of paint in Kauffman’s older work placed him at one time solidly in the expressionist camp. The sexual fantasy and pictorial myth-making

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  • Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Antoine Boudelle

    Bob Willoughby's Gallery of Ancient, Ethnic and Modern Art

    The Steinlen drawings are almost all idea notations or preparatory studies for the productive abundance of illustrations for Gil Blas, posters, and song sheets. His social attitudes made all humanity open to quick if summary survey, recorded in a rapid gesture of chopped straights and Art Nouveau fluidity. Attracted to the working classes by a bond of sympathy, to the theatrical by a fascination with the dramatic, and to the upper classes as objects of soft-bite satire, he recalls each through salient points of a pose, a posture, or a detail of fashion. He is at his story-telling best in describing

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  • Guy Williams

    David Stuart Gallery

    In this show of recent fiberglass relief sculptures we see a concern with the sensuous moldings of nature which runs through the work of a great many California sculptors. Williams sets writhing, amorphous forms into rectangular boxes which are set onto larger rectangles or juxtaposed to them, creating a kind of contrapuntal tension between ideas of natural flow and eruption, with manmade structures. The look of the work is pleasant, but, somehow, the effect is of too simple a resolution. One thinks of the similar shapes in the work of Peter Voulkos, and of the way they tend to teeter on the

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  • John Thomas

    Esther Robles Gallery

    In organizing his anonymous models screening off a deep void of corner-like perspective, in exterior architectural setting or in the landscape, Thomas displays appropriate current concerns. There is ambiguity of two and three dimensions, the integrity of the positive and negative shape relationships, and a skill in simplification and stylization. Add to these, the constructive loaded stroke, bravura pacing and intensified color, and the description should be recognizable as the immediate, if superficial, attributes of an “a la mode-San Francisco” look. These canvases are set apart in that they

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  • First Annual Advent Exhibit of Liturgical Art

    Mount Saint Mary's College

    Most of the objects comprising the exhibition seem to have been included by reason of subject matter, function, title or vocation of their maker, categories indifferent to the spirit of a work. Yet it is to the spirit, seemingly, that an Advent art exhibit would wish to direct itself. But liturgy denotes public ritual, not sacred experience, and the show honestly enough was labeled “liturgical art.” Taken literally this perspective indicates that the exhibit’s most moving works should not be there, for Chagall’s colored lithographs of Saul and David through the faithful sweetness of an ear

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  • Jan de Swart

    Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California

    USC’s School of Architecture and Fine Arts has launched a new lecture and exhibition program of which this show is an element. De Swart has developed a considerable underground reputation in Los Angeles over the last 15 years. His work in glass, wood and metal was shown as early as 1948 at the Modern Institute of Art. The current show purports to show the capacity of sculpture to give meaning to architecture, to “vitalize” its space. These cabinet-sized pieces in glass, wood and cast metal seem largely unrelated to architecture. The random and unrelated placement of a number of small pieces on

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  • John Lautner

    Mount San Antonio College Gallery

    The John Lautner retrospective includes work dating back to 1939, and his growth has kept pace with the intervening years. The Los Angeles architect demonstrates particular strength in manipulation of reinforced concrete.

    The show is made up of both photographs and drawings, and it is in the latter particularly, that his debt to Frank Lloyd Wright is acknowledged. Generally, the show presents the wide sweeping curves and great expanses of concrete that one comes almost to expect of West Coast architects.

    But it is in one of his later efforts, The Marco Wolfe House, that Lautner’s ability begins

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  • Enrique Castro-Cid

    Feigen-Palmer Gallery

    This exhibition of paintings and two constructions by a South American artist uses images derived from anatomical illustrations found in medical textbooks and medical students’ notebooks. Dealing with the human anatomy, the pictures expose in vivid find-the-organ-and-follow-the-function colors a disturbing and singularly unpleasant distortion of our innards.

    The style, in general, is related to much recent Pop Art, but the imagery creates a situation where some very special knowledge is required of the viewer in order to recognize that these are not merely large visual teaching aids. Had the

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  • Julian Ritter

    Poulsen Gallery

    Ritter paints in three categories, sensuous, seductive calendar-girl nudes which he sells for large sums at Las Vegas, clown paintings, and his so-called “serious art.” In every case there is a certain superficiality, a lack of contact because he believes his own fantasy. To the sensitive viewer this schizoid involvement tells a rather sad tale. There really are no girls like his creations with better than Renoir flesh, tousled hair, pink nipples, seductive lips, and passively vacant stares. To touch these girls would be to make them vanish; they are without substance; but to believe in them is

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  • Marion Aldrich

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Lady painters from small rural villages rarely paint the sort of pictures that would please an audience of urban sophisticates. Marion Aldrich is an exception. She limits her medium to transparent watercolor on paper and devotes herself to its expressive possibilities. She paints landscapes with a simple, totally unpretentious technique reducing the subject to shape and light. The quality of light as a function of her recognition of the integrity of her medium is the most memorable element of the pictures which involve scenes from California to Kansas to New England. She gives each something

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  • Elias Friedensohn

    Feingarten Galleries

    It is probably not important to know whether New Yorker Friedensohn’s careful disrobing of figures in his pencil drawings is due to a fascination with nudity or some personal psychoanalytical commentary best expressed in this fashion, but nude they are and when this aspect is coupled with the curious expressions implanted on their faces, the artist lures your full attention. The fragilely constructed but monumental figures stand or sit in stunned immobility, leer evilly, stare questioningly, or look directly out at you in utter disbelief, much as if you were being escorted through a mental

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  • John Little

    Comara Gallery

    A fund of rice paper tissues or blotting paper is here treated with varigated densities of grey, and pasted in biomorphic planar divisions. Swirled contrasts wheel slowly to meet in seamed and scarred conjunctions of alternating textural transferred darks and virgin white. The collages, seen best in Gotham and Departure, are smartly polite and vaguely referential, by implication and association, to the landscape. They are countered by several of heightened intensities, including shots of acrylic color, arranged in a loosely architectonic orientation. The first are expansive and toughly poetic;

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  • Manuel Izquierdo

    Ceeje Gallery

    lzquierdo uses, for the most part, clean, hammered and welded sheet steel to form closed, sculptural shapes doing double service as independent design elements and referential data. Izquierdo’s sculpture, now at a high level of technical accomplishment, needs but one thing to make it complete—content.

    James Monte

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  • John O’Connor

    Santa Barbara Museum, Santa Barbara

    This is a one man show of John O’Connor who is presently acting Instructor in Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was formerly Director of the Art Gallery at the University of California at Davis. O’Connor shows 24 paintings, 2 large canvases, the rest small and charming. At present he is particularly interested in psychological symbolism, in addition to presenting a well organized statement. He has made a study of Christian and Pagan paintings as to their symbolic intent and in searching for the source of their meaning believes to have found it to have meaning for himself.

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  • Keith Finch

    Landau Gallery

    Finch is an artist placed firmly within the southern California figurative tradition, exemplified by such artists as Warshaw, Lebrun and Broderson. His influence, after many years as both teacher and artist, remains strong in conservatively-oriented art circles. Finch maintains a close affinity with the Baroque draftsmen, paying, as he does, enormous attention to the felicities of drawing style in the grand manner. His weakness is in transforming an essentially graphic mode of expression into a painterly one. The consequences of this flaw become embarrassingly evident when paintings and drawings

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  • Thomas Knitch

    The Gallery

    Robert Speaker, a young successful medic, has fulfilled a long-desired ambition to participate in the local art scene by opening a small intimate gallery next to his home above the Sunset Strip. Being in a residential zone, the gallery can receive visitors by invitation and appointment only. Knitch, whose paintings make up the second offering of this new showcase, barely merits the honor. A former Art Center student now turned art director for television, he demonstrates an admirable facility in the use of his materials and obtains a richness of color and texture which he wastes on hackneyed

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  • Florence Hopkins

    Heritage Gallery

    Florence Hopkins paints pictures of ladies in a variety of styles from semi-cubist to semi-neo-impressionist to semi-surrealist-collage. About the most that might be said for them is that they are not painted in decorator colors.

    Don Factor

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