San Francisco

Karla Moss and Richard McLean

Berkeley Gallery

Karla Moss uses letters, bands, symbols and script to heighten the visual interest of these recent paintings. Some are mainly decorative while others have that depth of content that is often born of form (like Inside a Diamond). It is the smaller paintings which, lacking that pretentiousness that so often characterizes works of exaggerated size, are most successful here. Among the drawings included, the group composition titled “Thinkers, Listeners, Watchers” is outstanding.

McLean seems to be reaching for direction in this show of paintings and drawings. His works vary from stimulating drawings in large scale on small format, through experimentations with Mondrian’s diamond-shaped format, various phases of Pop Art and contemporary genre, to a large resting nude called Location which would look nice on a wall in the gynecology department of any medical school. Still Life with Cups is about the best painting here, although several of the canvases have more depth than at first seems apparent.

Elizabeth M. Polley