Los Angeles

Franz Rederer

Dalzell Hatfield Gal­leries

Swiss expressionist Franz Reder­er possesses one of the surest brush strokes in action today. A lifetime of devotion to his art has culminated in an assurance which seems to leave little to be desired except that solutions now come easily, creating a predictable for­mula of execution almost without chal­lenge to the artist. Experimentation is no longer of apparent interest or im­portance. Characterizations in many of the large portraits seem weak, but em­phatic praise must be tendered to well-controlled spatial-effects and rather brilliant composing of the canvases.

Rederer’s palette is repetitious. Flesh is invariably depicted chalky pink while all other colors turn pastel against heavy blue-green backgrounds. The paint is applied with aplomb—fluid and direct—in broad squiggly lines much in the style of Prendergast or Soutine. The artist somehow manages to extract from this busy surface a wealth of de­tail both implied and real in spite of the awesome dimensions of the brush strokes. The nervous application does not always succeed in telling the story, however, and often elements remain unclarified creating a slight disunity of presentation not unlike perusing a book with an occasional page missing. Still, the overall impression is quite intact and one cannot be unimpressed with the sheer drive—the persistent energy of the artist apparent in both his paint­ings and excellent crayon portrait stud­ies. Best in the collection is the Chess Players and the distinguished portrait of composer Roy Harris, but two very estimable landscapes demand equal admiration.

Curt Opliger