Los Angeles

Arthur Oka­mura

Feingarten Galler­ies

The diversified character of selec­tions included in young Arthur Oka­mura’s second one-man show at the Feingarten Galleries really does more harm than good. Where usually such a wealth of disparate media might de­monstrate the scope of the artist’s in­terests or proficiency, in this case it accents areas of decided weakness. However, in the midst of the oils, wa­tercolors, crayon, pastel, and pen and ink drawings, etc., there are pieces which certainly demonstrate the artist’s firm control of most of them, and often manifest his knowledgeable and versa­tile application in obtaining aggressive linear and textural effects. Okamura is at his best in his inventive use of pas­tels and is most impressive when his subjects get as far afield from visual reality as possible. Particularly strong is Burning Bush and Night Storm, both watercolors composed with ima­gination and vibrant action. Portrait studies in red or black crayon compare favorably with the intensity of feeling and incisive investigation of form char­acteristic of a Kokoschka or Kollwitz. The inclusion of some rather indifferent sketches after da Vinci, Vermeer, Rem­brandt, and Michelangelo seemed to serve no apparent purpose except to keep company with some peculiarly in­ept and melancholy flower paintings in oil.

––Curt Opliger