reviews

  • John Barbour, Lundeberg, Mclaughlin, Feitelson, Hammersley, Peter Krasnow, Elise Cavanna, Eva Slater, Karl Benjamin

    Esther-Robles Gallery

    This show of work by ten artists, all working in the general area that has come to be known as the “Hard Edge,” attempts to delineate a specific involvement in Southern California prior to the 1958 Abstract Classicists exhibition. That such an involvement existed throughout the early fifties has been well documented, but rarely has one been given the opportunity to see its range.

    This range, insofar as it can be seen in this small exhibition, goes far afield from a specific concern with edge. Rather, it would appear that these painters were all interested in developing an abstract art composed

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  • Peter Voulkos

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    A petit-retrospective, this first open-air exhibit on the Simon Sculpture Plaza of the new Museum consists of ten isolate works by Voulkos, rugged sculptures which polemically resist being viewed as a group. Ranging over a seven year period (1958 to the present), the works are disconcerting in their broad span of at least three and possibly four separable, seemingly inimical sculptural manners. (Nor do the distractions of the setting help; the surrounding buildings seem to loom over the sculptures, immediately doubling the odds against “monumentality.”) If a larger selection might have had

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  • Robert Rauschenberg

    Dwan Gallery

    One large combine-painting and a group of frottage-drawings constitute this show of quietly attractive post-Biennale, post-brouhaha work. The painting, “New York Bird Call for Oyvind Fahlstrom,” is a pastel-toned collage equipped with the lagniappe of several moveable parts, primarily three tiny, neatly plastic-covered canvases attached to the mother canvas by a long key-chain or hooks. The composition of the main canvas is based on more or less rectangular cut papers, each a separate image and each tidily stapled so as to cover the entire surface. The upper portion, a bird-scape, is plastered

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  • Gaston Lachaise

    Felix Landau Gallery

    This exhibition consists of some fifty works covering a twenty-five year span from 1910 to 1935. Included are a group of bronzes, many of which are quite familiar, and a series of drawings that have never before been exhibited. The bronzes are mostly female and male nudes and Expressionistic, distorted studies of portions of the female anatomy. These distorted pieces, made during the latter part of Lachaise’s career, combine a personal, poetic commentary on the human form with a kind of precise pulling asunder of one portion of the body, doing battle with it, training it, making it swell or jump

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  • Tom Holland

    Wilder Gallery

    Bulging canvases by the San Francisco artist taste powerfully of “Dr. Strangelove.” Holland has learned to love the bomb, airplanes and automobiles—mechanical symbols of destruction and virility—all of which contrive to become candidly phallic. The earth, bombarded, supporting the speeding car, place of rest for the plane, is the feminine principle. He colors solemnly, using dark, frosting-thick impasto laid on in patterns of plowed fields so that even his technique becomes a metaphor for fecundity. Certain canvases are built out dimensionally; the hood of a convertible juts forth, pulpy palm

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  • Charles Garabedian

    Ceeje Gallery

    The painter shows 20 canvases, mostly small and meticulous, dating from 1963 to the present. The surface look of a primitive, or even an amateur, while very apparent, begins to dissolve upon even a little reflection. The picture-making devices are too complex, and innocence never triumphs in these works. Rather, a whole set of art historical origins emerge, most of which are pre-Cubist. There is a spread· ing of interest that can include the early Northern and Southern European Renaissance as in “Saint Francis at Lake Arrowhead” and “Christ Under the Off-Ramp,” as well as 1930s public mural

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  • Craig Kauffman

    Ferus Gallery

    Craig Kauffman’s art, although by no means classically formal, is prophetic, and as an art for a future environment considerably improved by recent moves. He continues to repeat that curious form—variously described as an erotic thermometer or a phallus designed in a windtunnel—but now rendered in plastic colored relief, the whole piece cast as a single unit and more properly called a wall-hanging than a picture. Their ivory-smooth surfaces and jello-ed industrial colors are extraordinarily beautiful, creating a moving argument for artistic use of technological materials. Cool, bright, and

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  • James Strombotne

    David Stuart Gallery

    An image maker of some power, who in his new show of paintings and small bronzes, withdraws ever more from formal delectation.

    Allowing not even a clear flatness of form to assert itself, Strombotne propels his figural idea into consciousness, making a leap, so to speak, at the viewer from an expanse of canvas that is barely perturbed. In some instances the painting consists of a line drawing in black oil on a scumbled single color wash, as in “King Farouk’s Morning Walk.” The paintings divide at a certain point into two distinct modes. The predominant one is an almost flat, opaque, frozen-photo

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  • Gordon Wagner

    Silvan Simone Gallery

    Too often elements employed in collage and assemblage seem to appear there solely with the inelegant excuse of availability. The large current show of the works of Gordon Wagner at the Silvan Simone Gallery demonstrates what should and can be accomplished through extensive consideration and intelligent selection when applied to these often outrageously misused idioms. It is easy to believe that veteran Gordon Wagner is blessed with an accumulation of debris staggering in size and scope and that he is intimately familiar with every sliver on hand. The sculptures range in complexity from the simple

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  • Bernice Kussoy

    Ankrum Gallery

    The extensive showing of sculpture by this San Franciscan first impresses with the artist’s aptitude with a blowtorch and second raises doubts over the appropriateness of using this masculine and indelicate material to depict tender subjects somewhat feminine in character. What Miss Kussoy does she does well. The Cubistically constructed figures of people or animals arrive with authority and the introduction of various functional pieces of junk to portray roles of a less mundane nature such as large washers acting as tortillas for sale by a squatting street vendor shows the artist to possess

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  • Diana Bryer

    Galerie de Ville

    The oils of Diana Bryer incorporate a type of “art nouveau” flora and fauna that you would expect to find growing in Wonderland. There are the tendrils, the fanciful creatures in flat patterns, and luscious colors, but the atmosphere is not erotic. One unquestioning picture represents a seated girl from the legs down with a cat lying at her feet. Cobwebs are caught underneath tables; there is a lady dragon and a heliotropic dinosaur. The primitive traits of jumbled space and a scale, and color chosen simply if it delights, give Bryer’s imagination free rein. And further, character portrayal is

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  • Joel Schiller, Arthur Jacobs, Bettina Brendel, Lucille Brokaw

    Los Angeles Art Association

    In this exhibit, a good majority of the works were done in a confining technique. It seems that this limitation caused more energy to be present in the results.

    Bettina Brendel in “Sound Pattern I” uses curls of high quality white drawing paper on a white ground to create a sensitive movement. Joel Schiller in “Voyage” employs plaster on board to form a relief sculpture. The format is a rondo, and the piece, done in metallic browns and greens, is moving enough to make the viewer think of the subject interpreted and not the means. In “Maternal Bliss,” Lucille Brokaw keeps up an Indian look by

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  • Salvatore Grippi

    Rex Evans Gallery

    Prior to his teaching post at Pomona College where he has been since 1962, Salvatore Grippi was featured in six one-man shows in Manhattan. This is his first exposure on the West Coast and it will no doubt initiate deserved attention. Of particular interest is the curious paradox evidenced in his oils and pastels which emphasize a balanced serenity while activating every square inch of picture surface. Figure and still life compositions present a central mass of action, usually in vibrant glowing reds, surrounded with restless undulations of space or drapery which is apparently without end. The

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  • Tom Akawie

    Comara Gallery

    Mr. Akawie combines overtones of Pop and Hard Edge to produce cleanly designed canvases and graphics that play subtle colors and textures against definite lines and shape. The pictures he produces often jell into objects—but objects of two dimensions and of no world or existence except the artist’s. For instance, “San Vitale” could be a cross-section of some exotic or mystical motor, but it is not a motor that exists to run something, or even to run itself. The colors the artist employs are pale and subtle, giving the entire exhibition a silvery effect. “Michelangelo” in particular has beautiful,

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  • Henrietta Berk

    Carter Gallery

    The first impression gained upon seeing Miss Berk’s work is one of extremely brilliant color. Then her affinities with the so-called “Bay Area Figurative” school come to the viewer’s mind. The color is the major aspect of her art which differentiates Miss Berk from the other Bay Area figurative painters; where their color is often cool and rather tinted, Miss Berk’s is deep, rich, and brilliant. A number of the works in the exhibition were so very loose in their drawing and paint application that they were difficult to read. Nor does Miss Berk seem to have mastered the art of using a line

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  • Glenn Vilppu

    Paideia Gallery

    A teacher of figure drawing and painting at the Art Center School and an admirer of the Renaissance side of fellow instructor Lorser Feitelson, Glenn Vilppu is not ignorant of contemporary compositional solutions. The intellectual breaking up of pictorial space through use of figurative and natural forms nonetheless leaves one with the impression that some drastic but apparently painless cropping has been done to some old masters who were themselves guilty of mannerist posturings. Romantic, flowing, Blake-like figures floating in idyllic landscapes are rarely entirely contained within the confines

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  • Giuseppe Gambino

    Galerie Juarez

    It’s conceivable that paintings hanging on restaurant walls could be good. Visually entertaining and only gently thought-provoking, Gambino’s paintings would always be pleasant to have dinner with.

    Stylized figures whose bodies are basically elongated triangles stand against a flat field with a prop near by which helps identify their roles. The heads are simplified in that way which results in the nose being represented by a straight line. The face is frontal, but there is no severe confrontation of the observer and the artist’s little players.

    Because his shapes are outlined with black, the slight

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  • Gunnar Anderson

    Galerie de Tours

    Gunnar Anderson paints children at play, young girls raking leaves, and men idling away an hour. The themes stiffly test his sentiments, and prove them to be healthy. Charm can be authentic, and Anderson can find it in a moment while a little girl is absorbed in her own thoughts, in “Young Girl on Curb.”

    Putting aside subject matter, Anderson’s paint-handling and modulations of colors are something to consider. Turquoise, moss green, grey—a really delicious combination of colors—appears in “The Boys.” Abstract form and pattern can be found in Anderson, as in the linear shadow of a junglegym in

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  • Iqbal Geoffrey

    Adele Bednarz Gallery

    This artist used to perform in the tone of such European Abstract Expressionists as Mathieu or Soulages. He brought to his art a sense of calligraphy and personal extroversion that was bright and elegant. In current work Geoffrey retains his love of superficial brilliance but has introduced portentous, Gottliebesque forms that cause not only formal disunity in the work but strike one as a denial of his temperament. One large red monochrome in the Bednarz exhibition partook of that Byzantine ebullience one heartily wishes he would rediscover.

    William Wilson

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