Los Angeles

Clyde Forsythe Memorial

Cowie-Wilshire Gallery

A difficult show to assess as Forsythe (1886–1962) was one of many typical painters of the West who were greatly admired for some seven decades for their depictions of California deserts, Laguna Beach cliffs, Carmel lagoons, pines and sea coasts. Accordingly, this will be a nostalgic exhibit for many viewers who like only what they understand—the familiar scene, the traditional and illustrative approach. The Struggle, an oil on canvas of a prospector, is by far the best example in the exhibition, and points up Forsythe’s favorite subject—the desert in all its aspects.

Memorials of this type are predicated on what is available and usually they are a poor substitute for a comprehensive survey of a man’s life work. Unfortunately no selective choice was possible as there are only about 20 canvases left. Consequently, this makes a slight show. Forsythe’s contribution to genre painting cannot be fairly evaluated here.

Betje Howell