reviews

  • Piero Averse, John Leeper, Dorothy Brown, Margo Hoff, Edward Kitson, Laverne Krause, Max Kahn, Eleanor Coen, Alice Asmar, Leonard Edmondson, Ann Wolfe, Finkelstein and Rolf Nelson

    Adele Bednarz Gallery

    One of the area’s better collective exhibitions, well-mounted and an interesting survey of the two-month old gallery’s widely divergent stable. The Italian painter Piero Averse is having his first showing on the West Coast. Highly stylized, Aversa’s still-life painting is a fine combination of excellent draftsmanship juxtaposed against flat color surfaces. His “Symphony No. 4,” a white pot with a white spring growth terminating in flower shapes is both Oriental and organic. Set against pale yellow background tiles with a non-dimensional border reminiscent of Persian motifs, the device of

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  • Richard Hunt

    Felix Landau Gallery

    Hunt’s work, welded sculpture from salvaged materials, is marked by a high degree of professional competency and ambition. His strengthening development is traceable in samples from the last four years. The earliest, “Extending Forms with Arc” (1961), “Organic Construction” (1961), and “Standing Form III” (1962) serve to define the general area and intent of his abstract, mute formalism. The eye is forced to survey slowly, so controlled and serious are his statements. Empathy is all. Set are the motifs of linear linkage, a tidy concern for detail and appropriate terminating endings, and his

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  • Paul Wonner

    David Stuart Gallery

    Wonner’s primary subjects are the California landscape (seen with an All-Year Club solar enthusiasm) or domestic interiors with randomly placed models, occasional sunny windows, and a sporadic display of household objects; in both categories the temper is halcyon, and, in the domestic scenes, the vision is intimist. Associated with the “Bay Area Figuratives,” Wonner has their taste for juicy paint, but applies his varnished impasto with Parisian restraint rather than New York fury. Though Wonner exploits “paint quality,” one never feels in these canvases, as for example in David Park’s work, a

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  • Robert Harvey

    David Stuart Gallery

    Because he paints from family album photographs (circa World War I), nostalgia should spring immediately as this San Francisco artist’s goal. However, Harvey’s cool and sophisticated detachment, his edited but direct translation, and easily flowing, paint back technique suggest his figurative intentions lie in an anonymous Caravaggist tradition. A frozen romanticism (but not sentimentality) is the gripping force.

    Bold value statements in white, brown, and black within white bordered formats adhere to Pop Art’s flat source premise; his severely stylized abstracting continually enforces a strict,

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  • Ben Sakoguchi

    Ceeje Gallery

    Sakoguchi’s etchings combine an indiscriminate farrago of images inspired by “Pop,” advertising, technical drawings, the grotesques of art history, circus posters, old masters, sports magazines, mystic cults, child doodlings, balletomania, and movie clips with a 19th-century illustrational technique. This mixture at times results in an over-all design of some total impact (“What Will It Really Be Like At My House,” for example, is a print that more or less holds together), but his multiple-choice approach to organization usually makes it difficult for the viewer to do more than “read” the separate

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  • Modigliani, Gustave Dore, Delacroix, Jean Hippolyte Lazarges and Sickert

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Potted geraniums and wrought-iron handrails on the stairway leading to the Rex Evans Gallery set the tone by which to appreciate the refined surroundings of master drawings within. The work ranges from 1860 to 1960 and includes both sketches and drawings.

    One side of a choice double drawing by Modigliani portrays a woman and her watchful cat, an analogy also caught by Toulouse-Lautrec. Its lines are so essential that they would require prying to be removed. By coincidence, the brief nature of a sketch appears as the romantic predilection for deliberate obscuring in a Gustave Dore. In it, two

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  • 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,

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  • Tom Gardner

    Heritage Gallery

    Tom Gardner’s canvases are like the stage of a puppet show, filled with make-believe emotion and mechanical movement. He seems to work in the genre of expressionistic social commentary but his screaming buildings, which become hands, which twist around humans, cannot be taken seriously.

    The oils look paced. Compositions are subdivided while color appears chosen for harshness rather than expressiveness. Furthermore the different hues, which happen to land evenly spaced throughout each picture, illustrate that muddiness does not always bring moodiness. Some palette-knife drawings in impasto, in

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  • Barry Fantoni

    Comara Gallery

    Barry Fantoni, a 28-year old London artist, obviously can handle a brush well, and by combining casein, ink, and oil he does give his satisfying compositions a richness. But judging his work on its intended purpose, as a reflection of society rather than on the means employed, most of the themes used are a previous year’s success and are no longer able to stimulate their original interest.

    Examples on view date from 1961 and hit such subjects as “Juke Box Jury,” Pop Art’s woman with her applied decorations, and the British government. The subjects are either dated or boring because already too

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  • Richard Poole, Heman, Harron Weinstein and Friesz

    The Ryder Gallery

    Another of the twice-a-year innumerable group exhibitions which are as seasonal as the season—and just as predictable. Richard Poole’s figurative studies in oil are expressionistic, forcefully painted, and economical. Windows, doors, walls and people are studies in geometric counterbalance. In many of the canvases he captures the mood of women caught in intimate, everyday postures and gestures. Set in an atmosphere of dark juxtaposed with light, the architectural figures often appear huddled and safe from outside pressures.

    Heman’s “Sunset” is rendered in rich and thick jewel-toned impasto with

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  • Georgia Vester

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    Deeply influenced by Rico Lebrun, Vester however differs radically from her teacher. She has inherited his interest in dimensional anatomy but such considerations are nullified by her own tendency to see in flat shapes and textures. Imagine a Lebrun figure arbitrarily cut from its paper so the figure becomes unclear. This shape, now independent, is mounted on paper and worked in polymer or soft collage material. The effect is softer, more comfortable, and design-like. It adapts itself well to such works as her illustrations for poems by Quasimodo in which the handsomeness of the page is more

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  • Joshua Meador, Jan De Ruth, Gunnar Anderson, Jean Kalisch, Marlinde von Ruhs, William H. M. Weber, Marjorie Allen, David Rosen, William Gropper, C. B. Johnson and John Jagger

    Galerie de Tours

    Offers a modicum of styles by competent artists whose works generally remain in the safe confines limited to genre painting, both figurative and land- or seascape. Joshua Meador, the veteran Carmel painter who was with Walt Disney for thirty years, is showing Monterey scenes and seascapes. Though sound in brushwork and freely applied palette-knife techniques, the canvases leave one feeling the landscapes could be anywhere. Jan De Ruth, who was born in Czechoslovakia, is a more than competent painter working in romantic traditions. He brings to his “society portraiture” and lush nudes not only

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