Los Angeles

“Sculpture and Drawing Exhibit”

Esther-Robles Gallery, Santa Barbara

With the intense revival of sculptural activity dominating the scene there will be more and more sculpture shows and surveys. This one at the Bear Gallery ranges from major sculptures such as Jack Zajac’s Big Skull in Two Parts, a compelling, powerful piece in the heroic tradition, to novices’ work.

The exhibition consists of 13 artists, several in and of the Santa Barbara area. Robert Thomas comes off particularly well with seven pieces of sculpture, the most interesting his recent polychrome wood sculptures that are interchangeable and can be moved about and rearranged to produce a variety of images. His Conjurer’s Table is just that—a magical piece challenging the viewer to change it.

Oliver Andrews exhibits metal sculptures assembled partly from found objects, some playful, that he further enhances with paint and color. Melvin Edwards, who also works partly with found objects and pieces of welded polished steel, displays profoundly earnest images, beautifully formed and finished, that are fiercely emotional but disciplined. Celebrated George Rickey has two of his perfectly balanced pieces of kinetic sculpture, designed and executed with the precision of an engineer and positioned in space as entities that convey the illusion of organic, independent movement. Julius Schmidt exhibits three sculptures in his highly embellished, intricate use of detail on mass volume. Edgar Ewing shows ten pieces from his Roman Series, small poetic bronzes interpretive of classical illusions.

James Strombotne has four cast bronze pieces that are packed with social comment. Dr. Strangelove, transcends its literary reference and becomes a haunting image of cold horror. Emil Lazarevich displays figurative solid cast concrete forms. Mike Mullen exhibits fired ceramic pieces that have an oriental simplicity and unity. Erik Gronberg, a Danish artist, shows monumental wood sculpture and bronze pieces that are classical and delicate. Betty Sheinbaum exhibits three assemblages from found objects and Marc Schreibman displays four pieces of “Op” sculpture that derive from Nevelson but add Op ornamentation to the black boxed theme.

Harriette Von Breton