Los Angeles

Arthur Okamura, Jerome Kirk

Feingarten Gallery

This exhibition of Okamura’s work represents a departure from his previous more nebulous and floating images. Here he is involved with giving his work a point of view that has more in common, structurally, with traditional painting.

Okamura can best be described as a romantic Surrealist. His work is rich in imaginative design, and his colors glow with inner fire and light. “Garden Head” reminds one of Redon and is painted with a porcelain-like glaze through which the jewel led colors emerge, forming in their midst the head of a woman seen in profile. There are overtones of mysticism in many of the paintings, and the Surrealistic aspect of Okamura’s imagery adds dramatic tension and meaning to his opulent style. He is very much aware of his esthetic range and its limitations, and within its orbit he works with ease. His latest paintings show a noticeable advancement over his earlier work, both in boldness of conception and subtle control as well.

Jerome Kirk’s fastidiously formed mobiles are elegantly conceived with taste and technical adeptness. They vary in size from very small pieces that would rest on a table or shelf to great revolving constructions that require a special and appropriate setting. In each work, Kirk seems to take one form or shape and then expand and vary it throughout, so that each mobile takes on something of a visual fugue form. The show, with its beautifully colored pieces in their fantasy of free form, casting their subtly moving shadows on the white walls, is indeed delightful, and it would be even more so if Alexander Calder hadn’t already done it all before and with an audacity and boldness of vision from which others can only borrow.

Estelle Kurzen