los-angeles

Morris Broderson

Ankrum Gallery

Large paintings dominate Broderson’s latest output. Their subjects are drawn from Japanese legends, but like West­ern legends, to which they relate, their psychological overtones, modified by the personality of the artist, create a kind of folk-Surrealism that makes in­terpretation difficult. For example: Brod­erson, who is deaf, has introduced hands in sign-language positions into the paintings. Such hand positions re­late to Buddhist mudras and simultan­eously to Broderson’s personal situa­tion. Unlike the usual mystery-for-its-­own-sake of Surrealist painting, Broderson’s work makes a serious challenge to the viewer to apprehend his pictures intellectually. It invites a kind of pic­torial examination that will irritate those raised in the tradition of a purely pictorial statement.

Complication does not ruin the pic­tures. As paintings they show consider­able gains. Broderson has improved

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