Los Angeles

Martin Lubner

Ceeje Gallery

Few galleries in Los Angeles are so readily identified with their artists as the Ceeje. Usually figurative, with loose free brushwork and palettes which concentrate on emphatic blacks, yellows, and reds, pictures seen here are by young uncertain performers whose presences are sometimes ill-advised. Not so 35-year old Martin Lubner who has been the subject of more than half-a-dozen one-man shows in Los Angeles as well as in London and Rome. Though his works adhere to the gallery pattern, his palette is less confined, his stroke stronger and surer, and he employs fewer of the aimless violences and vague symbols associated with other artists seen on these walls. Like them, however, his brush follows the same febrile shorthand, excited and nervous, yet manages to extract portraiture which is both sensitive and pleasantly inventive. Lubner attempts no formal inspection of his sitters—they exist but are spared deep character probing. This lack of penetration does not detract from the simply composed pictures—the artist has proffered much on which to ruminate without getting profoundly involved. Besides the oils, pages from sketch books are shown which are an illuminating prelude to the major works in the exhibition.

Curt Opliger