Los Angeles

Minna Agins

Kirck Gallery, Encino

The three-decade-old spectre of sociological propaganda rises again in Agins’ woodcuts and intaglios. The latter, awkward and message-filled, are a sad disaster; the technical process of etching is beyond her. The human form is rendered as a group of static, bulbous lumps contorting in sentimental, involved attitudes, completed by eyes turned heavenward. The figures are outlined by an imprisoning, heavy line which attempts to rescue them from a swamp of aquatints. Her ineptitude evidently prevents her from making even a cleanly wiped plate.

Superior broadsides as American Family, At Water’s Edge, El Abrazo, and Madonna results from wood directly cut. The larger format permits a broad sweep to her drawing and forces her to clarify tones. Limited textural effects and the occasional addition of a second color also work to her advantage. With this more acceptable level of achievement it is apparent that her inspiration comes directly from WPA murals and Diego Rivera, and one wonders if it was worth all her effort.

Fidel A. Danieli