San Diego

Philip Van Aver

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego | La Jolla

In a showing of ink and watercolor miniatures (5 by 7 inches is usual) he has wrought scenes of artifice of a scale and dedication almost beyond belief. Certainly he is contenting himself in an indulgent, private backwater in combining the patience associated with the East with the allover tangibility of the Italian Quatrocento and manuscript illumination.

Fashioning still lifes, luscious bouquets, languorous women in interiors, and winter landscapes, they are cut off by elaborately decorated frames, each object covered with (indeed, made up of) varieties of these same ornaments. The color is subtly blended within each delineating boundary; washes applied to suggest a vibrant repousse. The even value and color distributions cause a suspension of light which exists only in the realm of an active imagination. Though the range of temperature/mood is surprisingly wide, it clusters about the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.