Los Angeles

Sam Francis, Miyasaki, Altoon and others

David Stuart Gallery

Included in this extremely interesting show are a group of small lithographs by Sam Francis done in 1963 at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. Francis creates loosely massed areas made up of a multitude of kidney-shaped forms, which float like pools of oil spread on water or run down the canvas in slow drips and trickles. The lithographs throb with alternately brilliant and sullen tones.

Miyasaki, a Professor of Arts and Crafts at the University of California, exhibits a lighter, erotically humorous group of lithographs. He transmutes the ancient process into a Pop idiom via Playboy Magazine. Carol grows up! is a collage of nude pinups of Carol Lindley that appeared in a controversial issue of Playboy recently. The artist’s own comments are scribbled at random (Carol Grows Up! as if it was his family scrapbook). Another is a group of nude shots of Jayne Mansfield, over which Miyasaki has quipped, “Jayne, in her latest flick, playing peek-a-boo with the human body.”

Unfortunately, John Altoon, currently exhibiting in a one-man show at the Santa Barbara Museum, is only represented with two canvases. Characteristically, Altoon, probably the leading Abstract Expressionist exponent in southern California, is exploring private but powerful symbols that resemble organic forms. With a kind of “doodling” technique of the Surrealists, and a totally free use of color, he excites passion and energy.

Molly Barnes