Los Angeles

Ray Friesz

Ryder Gallery

Subdued nature breathes most convincingly in these middle-sized paintings. Oil on masonite is the principal material. Basically the paint is thin. In spite of glazing over, it often looks hard and dry at close range. Considering the generally suffuse appearance of the paintings, perhaps another material would be more compatible. Rendered in predominantly brown monochrome, the best work shows a stillness and lack of pretense convincing of afternoon atmospheres. Friesz alters his manner from a contemplative realism, as in The Golden Pool, to a more expressionistic swath. The former concentration makes agreeable paintings in which paint and illusion slip back and forth between scumbles and lightly dripped paint. When Friesz feels the need to be more painterly his limited range of effects is clarified.

William Wilson