Los Angeles

Ward Kimball

Comara Gallery

“Kinetics” introduces the viewer to a visual and audible experience which stems from the tradition of Moholy-Nagy, Gabo and Calder, whose mobile constructions are predicated on mechanical movement.

“The Beauty Machine,” a cinemascopic cut-out girl’s head whose eyes and mouth move slowly from one extreme to another registers the cycle of perfection from ugly—a red light and buzzer marking at “N.G.” positions—to a green light and music box tinkling “Beautiful Dreamer” at the “O.K.” position.

Recessed doll’s eyeballs, complete with lashes, open and click shut staring from the windows of an old fashioned coach in “Night Train.”

A construction of “John,” his son, with four heads terminating in whiskers, has various symbols moving in huge open mouths, while a radio, which may be tuned in by the viewer, plays music or delivers news coverage—an unusual approach to portraiture.

Each of the twenty objects are a distinct and individual experience, inviting one to either participate actively or visually. This could be a gimmicky show but Kimball (the creator of imaginative characters for Walt Disney and organizer of the well-known recording and performing group, the “Firehouse Five Plus Two” Dixieland band), has developed a finely crafted technique by joining sculpture, painting, photography and memorabilia into a whole statement, reflecting as sound a background in painting and composition as in electronics and carpentry.

This is an intriguing exhibition of kinetics by an ingenious and creative man—and don’t forget to take the children.

Betje Howell