Los Angeles

“Directions: Six Artists”

Los Angeles Art Association

Under the capable direction of Helen Wurdemann, the Los Angeles Art Association’s gallery continues to encourage young promising talents by displaying their wares in the very shadow of the giants of La Cienega. Keeping this admirable policy in mind acts very much as a pair of rose-colored glasses—one tends to overlook the shortcomings in order to preserve the purpose of the exhibition program. In view of the restricted number of works allowed per artist (in this case never more than six) it might be assumed that what we see represents the cream of the artists’ crop. It is discouraging to believe so. Leonard Paz reveals himself as the most knowledgeable worker of the seven shown, demonstrating an astute sense of color harmonics and a delicate touch for arranging simple abstract forms clustered in vast plains or seas of white. Spatially, John Barbour’s compositions in the hard-edge school fare well but injudicious color relationships occasionally endanger the total vision. The depressing hued relief sculpture-paintings of New Yorker Joel Schiller seem to borrow far too much from his contemporaries who work in a similar vein with greater justification. Edward Cornachio’s welded sculptures capture solid forms in lacy nets of metal. While his performance is impressive the end result seems overly-complex for comfortable viewing. Also on hand are Constantine Tavoularis’ collage paintings in an uninspired “pop” idiom; Belle Osipow whose watercolors and collages seem less impressive than her educational biography would imply, and German-born Gerda Penfold.

Curt Opliger