Los Angeles

Don Wey­gandt

Sabrina Gallery

Wey­gandt, recently from the Bay Area, fills this new gallery with large, humble paintings. They would blush and scuff their heels at the mere suggestion of virtuosity. Casual observers will find them awkward, but it must be remem­bered that in painting an aura of fumb­ling reticence is an achieved effect, just as is a gesture of mannered self-confi­dence. Weygandt’s forms are as they are because he loves the humble and the commonplace. What qualifies him as an artist is his ability to orchestrate his shapes. He is a master of composi­tion in such a painting as his Double­-Arched Bridge.

His principle subjects are single fig­ures painted in muted tones against geometrically organized backgrounds; a man reading a newspaper, another lighting a cigarette, a whimsical acade­mician clutching his briefcase, reclining female nudes, plain girls with skinny, badly articulated shoulders and softly poignant faces.

Weygandt’s roots are less in Bay Area figurative painting than in French genre; Cézanne, Matisse, Rouault, Sou­tine, and Merida. The very sophisticat­ed will find something vaguely pre­tentious in Weygandt’s self-effacement. That is their tough luck.

––William Wilson