Los Angeles

“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, others (Chen Chi, for instance) believe a little impressionism in the wrist adds mystery, or a little staging doesn’t hurt (Stuart Kaufman), or even a hint of surrealism (John Koch).

This is a large show, fifteen painters showing a considerable number of works. Dr. Samuel Johnson might have said, “They did it, Sir, but did it want doing?”

John Reuschel