Los Angeles

John Lentine

Feingarten Galleries

Half-a-dozen years ago this young and enterprising painter developed a patently successful formula for mass-producing hand painted postcards of European views. Rather than indulging in the usual manner of nostalgic shorthand most often encountered, he heightens his souvenirs with direct tactile appeal (dry brush over a textural ground), fragments of brilliant under-painting, structural solidity through black outlines and tracery, and suffocating Mediterranean light and heat with the extensive use of white. Just as his realistic technique is a relative novelty in this field, so is his selection of subject matter—not the overdone monuments, but curbstone preservations of curious shop fronts, merchants stands, and mysterious grilles and shutters. Each picture seems an adequate enough piece of decoration, but a roomful reveals a talented and dexterous artisan too easily satisfied with his efforts, which are as shallow as his blank facades. Though Lentine has little to say in these canvases, he needs neither cautionary reprobations nor wishes for future success. There are still so many doors and windows remaining to capture forever.

Fidel A. Danieli