Los Angeles

Arlo Acton

Nicholas Wilder Gallery

Arlo Acton’s first one man show in Los Angeles presents an enormously difficult undertaking, grand in physical considerations, but remarkably unresolved for so large a body of work. Acton has consistently chosen to work with found objects of wood and metal, handled and worked to create an organic special entity. His attempt to create a continually growing sculptural configuration has left certain basic sculptural questions unanswered. How can these jutting forms, so frequently seen in recent San Francisco sculpture, exist in, or come to terms with, their environment? This question is most successfully answered by his decision to hang some of his pieces. An earlier polychromed work, “Pop Off,” is a good example of a hanging piece which solves this problem. “Rebus,” a more recent predominantly metal work, also comes close to solving the problem by leaning the basic body shape on its side with a supporting extension resting on the ground. This chance configuration allows Acton’s relentlessly undulating spatial extensions continuous free movement. More important than the choice of materials and working attitudes, the strength and validity of Acton’s work will undoubtedly depend on his future answers to basic formal questions.

Susan R. Snyder