Los Angeles

Cecil Beaton

Rex Evans Gallery

It would be as silly to regard the famous English designer by normal fine arts standards as it would be to not regard him at all. His opulent set designs and costumes are rendered in that conventional fashion peculiar to designers, which is only a kind of slap-dash working technique. Thus a style referred to is everything while a style of doing is insignificant. Beaton does have the end of the century by the tail. He explores its facets so that we are reminded of Charles Dana Gibson, Beardsley, Victorianism and Art Noveau without any strain upon our judgment since we attach it to the object rather than the art. His recent showing is primarily of designs for My Fair Lady (the movie) and he promises us it will be lush. There are also two studies of bean stalks on display that make us think he might have been a botanist, and make us glad he is a designer.

William Wilson

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.