Los Angeles

Alberto Collie

Comara Gallery

Whatever merits exist in the paramount idea presented by this young Venezuelan design student are lost in diverting claims and justifications and a shuffle of failings. His black and white paintings are rather obvious graphic layers of flowing band patterns, and the several reliefs are adequate asymmetrical arrangements of spheres in a dished backing—all serving to distract from the “sculptures.” These, his major technological achievements, a series called “Spatial Absolutes,” are an all too tentative investigation into the power of recently developed magnets to cause a form to float above its base without physical support. Because the support is invisible, it is tensionless.

Collie’s forms are highly polished discs, formed and finished by others as refined products, rating low as an important image except perhaps among followers of unidentified flying objects. The discs, somewhat tarnished and inevitably fingerprinted but reflectively slippery, are held in position by nylon threads—supplying a visual means of support—thus destroying whatever illusion was intended. As a preview of coming attractions we are asked to imagine no strings—a judgment-suspending evasion and a near impossibility. A clever idea is thus rendered as an easy-going juggling act, a novelty; and a shoddy installation helped the works not at all. Presumptively, Collie has annexed Brancusi to all this spurious industrial fancy. This is yet another example of the perils of premature exhibition, a germ of a concept, invoking the most damnable of faint praise, “kind of interesting.”

Fidel A. Danieli