reviews

  • “Twentieth Century Realism Number Four”

    Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego

    This is all like an old photo album. It is only of interest to members of the immediate family. It’s a little embarrassing to see it spread through several rooms.

    Without exception these artists deny, by their practice, that there has been any seeing done in this century. There is no question that each of them is competent to actualize his vision. There is of course no question of any painter’s sincerity. It just seems so strange to see all these eyes frozen in time. The artists do vary a bit in their definitions of reality. Robert Vickery paints the outside of what he sees as exactly as he can,

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  • “Near East to the Far East”

    Harry A. Franklin Gallery

    Although the Far East is more broadly represented than is the Near East, there is considerable variety in the collection of fine art objects that Mr. Franklin has assembled. Of primary interest is a Chinese bronze Ku from the Shang Dynasty dated in the 13th century B.C. The trumpet shaped beaker has a particularly nice t’ao t’ieh mask and is in excellent enough condition that the refinement of detailed ornamentation can be studied easily. Dating from 1000 to 600 B.C. are a number of Luristan pieces of which a stirrup and a mace are the most interesting. A third item of antiquity is a Mosul marble

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  • Kenneth Price

    Ferus Gallery

    One of the most striking reaffirmations which this exhibit of recent sculptures brings to focus is that the most confident, self-assured, definite, talented and aggressive artists of any time have no qualms whatsoever about arriving at visual conclusions similar to the great artists of previous generations. The historical range of Price’s biomorphic abstractions is impressive. They range from thoroughly misplaced traditions of oriental ceramics to more obvious associations with Brancusi, Arp and Miró.

    Whatever connections the critics can, and will, conjure, there are always two essential factors

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  • Alfred Jensen

    Rolf Nelson Gallery

    Purporting to make concrete personal intellectualizations on underlying scientific principles (Image and Afterimage—“light-electro-magnetic color working schema”) and philosophical theorems (Duality Triumphant) by means of geometrical divisions, Jensen may be allied with other architectonic painters such as Hooper, Davis, and Leger. His paintings are also obstinate and make no concessions, but create a tough, dumb sense of beauty. His curious diagrams propose to distill a salient glimpse into all-encompassing unity, but through contradiction, end in an overall patterned redundancy not unlike

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  • James Brooks

    Art Galleries, UCLA

    This retrospective exhibition of 42 oils, gouaches and drawings was organized by Sam Hunter for Brandeis University and the Whitney Museum. It spans the period 1947–1962, thereby omitting the artist’s work prior to the age of 41. This makes a consistent exhibition from the artist’s so-called “abstract expressionist” work. Unfortunately 22 additional works seen in the exhibition’s eastern viewings have had to be omitted from the western tour. Their omission from the UCLA show introduces a factor of discontinuity. Cubism, automatism, Pollock and Tomlin are to be recognized as influences which have

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  • Jack Hooper

    David Stuart Gallery

    Powerful, seemingly ponderous pieces with undulating surfaces are called “relief paintings” at Jack Hooper’s one-man show at the David Stuart Galleries. These deceptively light-weight pieces very effectively manage to have one foot planted staunchly in relief sculpture, and the other affixed equally firmly in painting. Liquid surfaces, the color of, variously, old pewter, tanned cowhide, raw liver, and polished mahogany, boil and ooze like primeval lava flows, flooding the elaborately structured relief configurations. Rolls of leather-colored sinew-like material are occasionally stretched across

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  • James Jarvaise

    Felix Landau Gallery

    Jarvaise’s recent Spanish works deal almost exclusively with the figure—in spite of himself, it would appear. For he raises the question of how many ways a head may be staged while maintaining a mute detachment from the model and preserving “purer” pictorial concerns. First, dehumanize its existence in a series of blunt two-value planes or dissolve it in a run of slippery pigment, then turn it profile, flatten it and create a black silhouette, and the final move, turn it about to a “profil perdu.” Hands, should the occasion arise, are to be treated in swift fluttering masses.

    The majority, a

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  • Paul Sarkisian

    Art Center, La Jolla

    Small collages of photos, paint, reproductions, roofing tarpaper coherently and vivaciously put together. Although this artist shares the found-image collectors’ tendency toward the talkative, this show has many splendors.

    This exhibition, which was scheduled to run a month in the Art Center’s one-man gallery, was closed a week early. The official explanation was that the space was needed for other purposes. This is an odd but plausible reason for terminating a show. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the real one. In several of the exhibited works cutouts of nudes were juxtaposed with fragments of religious

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  • John Willenbecher

    Feigen/Palmer Gallery

    Given, the following materials: Ornate gold letters and numbers for window signs, various sized balls, shallow boxes with glass lids, and a palette ranging from white to black. Problem: Place materials named in pleasing compositions which may suggest various games. There is nothing surprising or inappropriate for an artist to pursue such an endeavor today and Willenbecher’s imaginative constructions lack neither serious consideration nor wit. The field of three-dimensional constructions is still only slightly exploited and it is satisfying to discover there are artists who are devoting their

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  • “WPA Alumni Exhibition”

    Scripps and Pomona Colleges

    When the Museum of Modern Art swung open its doors for the first time in 1936, the initial exhibition was a salute to the Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. It was titled “New Horizons in American Art” and was gathered under the direction of Dorothy Miller of the Museum staff. Nearly thirty years have passed and the MOMA has once again assembled an exhibition on the same theme under the same able direction and sent it on tour of the U.S. The extensive display, shown in Southern California in two separate galleries at Scripps and Pomona College in. Claremont, offered an excellent

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  • Hardy Hanson

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Although the effects of Hardy Hanson’s studies under Albers at Yale are at times evident in his drawings and paintings, the essential import of Hanson’s images is much closer to the microcosmic world of Paul Klee than it is to the highly rational formula of Abstract Classicism. Hanson’s ideographic idiom, even when eclectic, has hypnotic power. His series of “portraits” that culminates in the Six Heads involves a number of archetypal symbols that are handled with considerable ingenuity. At other times the artist invents images from nature that are startling in their originality—Wind Topology

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  • Edward Biberman

    The George Gallery

    Someone with the unlikely name of Barrows Dunham Cynwyd once wrote of Biberman: “And so I am glad that Biberman chose to do in paint what Descartes did in philosophy. He won’t get fame by puzzling spectators, but I dare say he feels much more joy in lifting veils, evaporating mists, and letting the eye do what it was meant to do: see.”

    It is not a statement that does justice to the artist’s retrospective (1927–1963), for the exhibition, if it does anything at all, points up in often sad fashion Biberman’s continuing struggle with the question of what the eye was meant to do.

    It was 1929 when

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  • Paolo Buggiani

    Felix Landau Gallery

    With arch tact and taste this young Italian painter creates layered landscape abstractions derived from the open textural planes of Tapies and the smothering veils of Afro, seasoned by American gestural modes. He counts his accidents on the fingers of one hand, and deliberates upon each addition with cool reserve, knitting together isolated and somewhat spotty effects. L’Isola del Corallo, Vento Caldo and Fiume Sepolto mark the height of his present power in drama and resolution, for they break with the general mood of restless monotony. Sameness is enforced by the general poverty of color—tan,

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  • Joyce Rezendes

    Felix Landau Gallery

    Joyce Rezendes, a San Francisco artist, is young, brave, bold and fired with the excitement of religious celebrations and festivals.

    Miss Rezendes attended California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Art Institute on scholarships and obtained her BFA from Arts and Crafts in September 1957. She also attended the summer Academy of Oskar Kokoschka in Salsburg, Austria and then returned to Mills College in 1960 where she received an assistantship and her MA in 1961.

    She is unabashed and uninhibited in her use of color and also in her paint application. She is a young experimentalist,

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  • Charles White

    Heritage Gallery

    To be labeled “an incurable romantic” suggests the artist to be beyond serious consideration and relegates him to a kind of artistic purdah. Mr. White is a romantic and, we sincerely hope, immune to well-intentioned nostrums. His exhibition of lino-cuts and Chinese Ink stick drawings at the Heritage Gallery could be called a sort of box-office smash in the field of commercial exhibitions. Charles White, a Negro artist, was born in Chicago, 1918, and has established an exhibition record of shows and honors second to few others. He is a splendid draftsman.

    White’s figure studies are not portraits

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  • Joyce Schumacher

    Comara Gallery

    This exhibition of wood and stone sculpture comes at the conclusion of the artist’s Tiffany Foundation Grant for 1962–1963. The freshness of the work gives evidence that influences were positive and that new directions are operational.

    Carved planes with curled edges rather than curved surfaces meet, parry, then join at acute or obtuse angles. The whole is then rocked in space to a point of delicate balance. Walnut, pocket-riddled camphor wood, and mottled alabaster provide a variety of media for these expansive figures. In one walnut piece, Saarinan, two planes are tipped to each other and share

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  • Karl Kanol

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    The exhibition of recent canvases by veteran painter Karl Kanol at the Silvan Simone Gallery inspired disappointment. The enormously impressive background of this artist would predicate works of equal stature, but for some reason it does not. The greater portion of the pictures concentrate on the Mexican landscape and populace but does justice to neither. If it were possible to mix Kokoschka (omitting the sensitive and sweeping color harmonics), with the peasantries of a Chagall (withhold the wit and romance), and stir in a Soutine (without the potent brush), you might come up with something

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  • William Waldren

    Dwan Gallery

    The highly responsive criticism given Waldren’s past work seems ludicrous in the context of the present exhibition. In the light of previous superlatives one cannot help but be surprised, amazed, confused and thoroughly disappointed by these overbearing and pretentious wall sculptures.

    The failures of these particular reliefs are specific. Their imagery seems to be little more than a kind of extra-terrestrial appearance as noncommittal and as chancy as the photographed surface of the moon, which they at times resemble. They also resemble gigantic, yet harmless heads of flies, tentacles and little

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  • Fred Holle

    Sander Gallery, La Jolla

    This show evidences a considerable shaking up of the thinking of this always interesting painter. His previously restrained and secretive surfaces have been loosened, the brushwork has become more overt, and there’s an introduction of whimsical creatures and pieces of scenery and delight. A refreshing and outspoken exhibition by a changing artist, that uncommon bird.

    John Reuschel

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  • Channing Peake

    Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

    Peake is a well-known Santa Barbara artist and his show consists of oil paintings, watercolors, collages and most recent pieces of sculpture. These five sculptures are his first and only. He has found a new media in which he expresses himself originally and uniquely. They are all done in the lost wax process and the casting of these pieces is unusually beautiful and fine. Four of the pieces are of horses, one is a finely modeled Ram’s head. The sculptures have the quality of a series of finely wrought small jewel-like forms assembled and built into the total powerful form.

    In his painting, Peake

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  • Thomas McFarland

    Customhouse Gallery

    This young etcher’s progress in the past five years is apparent in this tidy showing. His personal and heavily-wrought interpretations of imagery are drawn from mythology, favoring a columnar female accompanied by a supporting beast or the active pulsation of involved gesturing groups. Essentially he has staked out the extremes of a polarity while bridging technique (not the usual craftsman’s mystique) with his subject matter. The clear and fluid draftsman’s emphasis in the white-on-black Persian Carpet and Signature Three contrasts well and equally with the invention and change and intricacy

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  • Amalia Schulthess

    Esther-Robles Gallery

    These fifteen pieces of recent sculpture by Amalia Schulthess include several large bas-reliefs, a group of small animal figures, and some medium-size, free standing pedestal pieces.

    Far and away, the outstanding piece in the exhibition is the four foot tall bronze Torso. Its monumental proportions and idealized form suggest a modern manifestation of the classical idiom. Gently modulating curves produce the quietly sensual beauty of linear simplicity. Textural excitement completes the sensory feast.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the exhibition falls short of this noble beginning. What was classical

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  • Sheila Ross

    Ceeje Gallery

    Miss Ross shows many works in many media and it is the wittiest display in a long time. Miss Ross, in her quiet, unassuming way, sneaks up rather than flays the watcher with her cleverness and the variety of little things she has to say. There are a great many pictures on a great many subjects—from a memory of the Illinois Central Train Yard to a history of Cock Robin, and from a “Cloudscape” to a presentation of the Bahai Temple in Wilmette, made of decal cat heads and valentine flowers. There is a self-portrait of a lady—the artist herself—whom the viewer already wants to meet.

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  • Margo Veres

    Cowie Wilshire Galleries

    Margo Veres’ recent paintings of Spain and Italy establish a single romantic mood. Done from sketches made in Europe last year, the pieces have lost the vitality of the immediate impact of color and form one might hope for and have taken on the nature of nostalgic memories, recalled from a distance, dimmed by a filtered screen of light. The effect is one of modified Impressionism. It is not the broken color of Impressionism, however. Rather, it is arbitrary color, muted by a haze of whiteness. Compositionally, the paintings owe something to Cézanne, especially in the street scenes where the

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  • Helen Breger

    Paul Rivas Gallery

    Dry wit and massed areas of black and white characterize the etchings of Helen Breger in her first one-man show in Los Angeles. She received her art training in Vienna, her birth-place, and studied graphics with John Ihle at San Francisco State College. The over-all pulse of the exhibition is pretty pedestrian treatments of possibly recognizable subjects that are well-drawn, using aquatints and etched line skillfully. Unfortunately, the prints really do nothing that Edvard Munch and Jacques Tati haven’t already done better.

    Virginia Allen

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  • Walter Sickert, Felix-Edmond Vallotton and Paul Signac

    Long Beach Museum of Art

    Three painters who attained maturity during the post-Impressionist period, emerging to prominence in the 1880s and 1890s, into an era of new styles and theories. Caught in an esthetic kaleidoscope, their major achievements stemmed from seeking freedom from old subject matter and exploration of the new scientific knowledge by experimenting in color and line with an increased emphasis on the incorporation of color with form.

    A prolific writer, witty conversationalist and depictor of the vulgar, the Englishman Walter Sickert (1860–1942), chose only the most common and sensual situations for his

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  • Kenneth Washburn

    Galleria Gianni

    This is a healthy, happy exhibition. Washburn’s figurative oils, though basically academic in approach, are painted with love and skill—attesting to one man’s belief that the human figure is indeed the temple of the soul. The sculpturesque quality of his nudes saves them from being too pretty or illustrative. Both his paintings and sculpture point up the importance of a sound art background. That Washburn has been content to paint what he sees the way he sees it without succumbing to continuously fluctuating fashions is to his credit if not entirely to his esthetic development.

    Betje

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  • Group Show

    Ryder Gallery

    A group show which is interesting only because the exhibitors are predominantly foreign and their works show personal approaches stemming from various geographical areas. Two painters from abroad, one from France, the other Japan, make the best showing in this unimpressive display. The French artist Michel Albert’s still-life paintings are architectonic in content. He paints flowers in textured structures, with bold strokes of pigment and just a hint of a Cézanne influence, which fortunately does not weaken his work.

    Nakayama, a resident of Tokyo, brings a strong lyrical quality to his portrayals

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  • José Ma Dena, Anita Chermoy, Louis Goodman

    Elson-Robyns Gallery

    José Ma Dena, a Mexican painter of versatile ability shows a predilection for egg tempera painting in the Renaissance style. His subjects range from children, Women with Bangs,  to a St. Paul, Seagulls and Roses. He has a line of the greatest delicacy and the flower studies are reminiscent of Albrecht Dürer. Anita Chermoy shows a series of theatre improvisations in wash drawings made during actual performances. Commedia dell’Arte figures are often discernible. In another group, Miss Chermoy does highly decorative semi-abstract and witty pen and ink pieces. The third artist is Louis Goodman who

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  • “Architect's Choice”

    Feingarten Galleries

    A group show drawn from local sources, of paintings, small sculptures, and large drawings, selected by the anonymous machinations of architectural firms, ends by signifying nothing. Almost surviving the general low level of collective taste are the more well known: Asmar, Falkenstein, LaChapelle, and Serisawa. One wonders to whom the blame should be assigned. If architecture is the mother of the arts, surely painting and sculpture deserve a more heartening fate than orphans in the storm, adrift, which is what they here appear to be.

    Fidel A. Danieli

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  • “Naturalism”

    Los Angeles Art Association

    A group show chosen from members’ works by Harry Carmean, Mrs. Renee Groch and William Willheim, and a thematic exhibit that is not necessarily “natural,” as various styles referring to nature have been employed with a potpourri of techniques not always fortunate. Many of the 42 painters and 9 sculptors evidence a definite need for serious study, if only to free them from the realm of pastiche.

    Technically better works in the show are Morning Riders, a competent oil with an illustrative quality by Shirl Goedike, Gregory Gluckman’s oil, Grapes, which, though more tenuous, is a pleasing still-life

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  • Clay Walker

    Kramer Gallery

    For his first Los Angeles showing Walker presents four vaguely related types of work—dark, loosely architectonic oils, red and blue patchwork gouaches, wood relief constructions with humorous overtones, end silvery canvas appliqué collages. In touching so many undistinguished bases, he flirts at the perimeter of structure and personal style, and arouses only vague aspersions upon his intent. A coherent direction perhaps will be forthcoming, but as each diversity is so completely defined, it is problematical. On the other hand, as recompense, his biographical notes and exhibition credits at

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  • Pierre Sicard

    Dalzell Hatfield Galleries

    Sicard devotes almost the entire exhibit to recent paintings of a transparent Venice in carnival colors. Mr. Sicard, whose art originates in Impressionism, has simplified his technique by leaving out all but the quintessence; and in Venice, of course, the quintessence is light. These are striking studies of gondolas with water rushing backward, catching the double vision of the city beneath the sea, or gondolas in the sun with that golden molasses quality of Venetian water at noon.

    There is an unusual view of the Church of the Salute rising like a mirage in the desert of water, isolated by illusion

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