Los Angeles

Arthur Secunda

Long Beach Museum of Art

Secunda’s oils comprise an attractive showing, but one more like a survey of recent painting modes than a vivid personal experience. In general, among the 27 paintings, there is a flat ground on which exists a sculptural “happening” of impasto. The ground color is neutral in relation to the high colors of the “event.” Impasto is pure tube-squeezed, trowelled, picked up, dragged, and scratched through to indicate something beyond. Two small canvases illustrate Secunda’s virtuosity as a colorist: “Timepiece” is a mustard hourglass on a purple ground; “The First Day” is done in blue, red, vermilion, orange, and green. “Tropic of Cancer” glows from lozenges of yellow, orange, and white against an intense blue ground. Perhaps Mr. Secunda’s brilliant and discreet critical analyses stand between him and the joyous, visceral commitment of original experimentation.

Virginia Laddey