San Francisco

Masando Kito

Triangle Gallery

These paintings display virtuosity, imagination and diligent meticulousness. Mr. Kito works in oil which he manages to manipulate so as to produce surfaces that have the texture of stone: sometimes moist and porous, sometimes dry and crumbling, and sometimes hard and weathered smooth. So compellingly are these effects achieved that one imagines the tactile properties of the surfaces presented. All of the colors employed are such as one commonly associates with complex organic minerals: copper greens, chalky reds, slate blues, and the carbon blue-black of basalt. The various shapes, graffito markings, corrugations, and flecks of color that vary these surfaces also appear like the work of millennia of chemical and physical erosion, while here and there an arrow or a circle suggests some nearly obliterated pictogram that might have been left on such stones by prehistoric men.

All of these paintings conjure an atmosphere of mysterious cosmic antiquity. They can hardly be regarded as expressionistic since they are utterly undramatic in their tranquil staticity and refined esthetic subtlety which, in order to be fully appreciated, seem to demand peculiarly Oriental disciplines of passively meditative contemplation.

Palmer D. French