reviews

  • FIVE YOUNGER LOS ANGELES ARTISTS

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    An exhibition designed to present the recent work of the five winners of the Contemporary Art Council’s New Talent Purchase Awards. These awards were established in 1963 to provide a year’s financial subsistence to a most promising young Los Angeles Area artist, in return for the opportunity to select one work for the Museum’s permanent collection.

    The show presented five young artists, all functioning within the current modes of advanced art, but there was little reaching out, few risks. Each has found an imagery and technique that gives him a personal trademark but none (with the possible

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  • Knud Merrild

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Merrild’s twenty-nine year residence (1923–52) in Los Angeles places him among a rare handful of the area’s contemporary (i.e., pre-World War II) art pioneers, and hence explains the value of this assessment. His activity began in Denmark, was influenced by travels in Europe, and much importance (without supporting evidence) is given to his acquaintance with D. H. Lawrence. This retrospective reveals to a new audience a third-rate reflection of 20th-century art history—Delaunay, Klee, Gleizes, Metzinger, Picabia, Schwitters, and Constructivism, various primitivisms, Dali, Ernst, Miró, and

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  • Jess Collins

    Rolf Nelson Gallery

    Jess (Collins) has been well-known in the Bay Area for a number of years as the creator of metaphysical, poetic collages (generally limited to black and white) composed of old magazine photographs, engravings and illustrations. These depended upon subtle juxtapositions of images cleverly made to appear as if the original material was found in the form presented. They were closely related to the collages of Max Ernst but dealt in a cosmology more complex and, often more esoteric than Ernst’s. The present show is composed of a series of oil paintings executed over the past five years. In these,

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  • Agnes Martin

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    Agnes Martin produces a world as valid as a psychologist’s graph yet delicate as sheer veils. Reductive in form and color these paintings deal with the infinite variations of nature. Her work promotes intelligent refinement of graphic structures and superb color limitations. She uses only pure, pearl whites, deep chalky whites, and light yellow whites, applied in thin washes with a sympathy for the nature of canvas. The drawing of precise yet ever-changing lines on canvas creates an overwhelming unity of structure.

    As rich and as personal as these paintings are internally, they deal successfully

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  • Robert Harvey

    David Stuart Galleries

    Robert Harvey’s paintings and a few small drawings carry the paradox of most good, but not overwhelming, shows: that is, the tendency to appear as a conglomeration of slight faults rather than a generally pleasing collection of paintings. Harvey’s pictures are meant to resemble, in a formalistically detached manner, family snapshots taken during the late twenties and early thirties; a faint, brownish patina and white border on each picture indicates the source. The paint application, in thin stains and shallow opaques, gives a flattened chiaroscuro that pushes the images back into the realm of

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • John Paul Jones

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Nationally honored as a printmaker, Jones becomes the first local artist to be seen in retrospect at the Museum. Shown again as a painter and a sculptor, there are obvious and expected relationships between the three approaches. A translation of print techniques appears in the rubbed, wiped, scumbled, and textural conditions and recent traces of decalcomania. As well there is the preference for a solid or closely-woven support suggesting a source of method in the absorbency of the monoprint or the manipulation of an inked plate.

    The paintings however are not merely ringers spun off, but another

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  • Pol Bury

    Landau Gallery

    Belgian artist Pol Bury is a poet, a meticulous craftsman, and a highly inventive and original talent. After showings in Los Angeles and New York his reputation in this country is advancing rapidly to challenge a phenomenal respect already enjoyed in Europe through his success at the 1964 Venice Biennial and other major survey exhibitions on the continent. Essentially a Surrealist, Bury, now 43 years old, abandoned literary images about 1945 and stressed organization of three-dimensional forms which, by 1953, had become motorized. Bury’s poetic approach to mechanized construction places natural

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  • Robert Cremean

    Esther Robles Gallery

    At a time when the visual arts suggest acceptance of the insecurity and impermanence of man’s environment by virtually encouraging disintegration, Cremean’s solid construction, his avid attention to explicit detail and apparent absorption with “method,” reassures us. This quality would be without value if the pieces as works of art failed but nothing Cremean attempts appears to be trivial. Each work proposes a concentration of valid artistic solutions which are surprising in an artist only 32 years old. He rightly devotes equal concentration on all aspects of his creations, playing negative

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  • Maxwell Hendler

    Ceeje Gallery

    One thinks of “Cinerama” when viewing Hendler’s three-dimensional portrait of “David.” This dramatically placed head, painted with photo-magazine slickness against a background of wooden houses, yard, windows and doors, executed with an attention to detail not unlike the Italian primitives but with an added element of 20th-century sophistication, is probably the best of Hendler’s works on display. Here he seems to have achieved a blending of illusion and reality that makes each more intensely the other. By contrast his scenic paintings, “Ocean Park” and “Main Street,” appear conventional, lacking

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  • Assemblages 2 And 3 Dimensions

    Los Angeles Valley College Art Gallery

    A showing of various methods of manipulating and combining diverse media assembles works that in the majority are more combined than manipulated. The forced juxtaposing of meekly manipulated found object assemblages with more forceful personal statements presents a show of rather general scope held together with paste and nails. The scope is one of worthy intent, a micro-resume of an area of endeavor much in need of an overview. The overview is provided through some 115 works by 62 artists. It is not an historical view but one of comparison. Works vary in size and dimension from a small paper

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  • Arne Wolf

    Feigen/Palmer Gallery

    The large hand-burnished woodcuts of Arne Wolf commissioned by the Feigen/Palmer Gallery for holiday presentation exploit Biblical themes (though not the Christmas story). Genesis was the inspiration for the prints and direct quotes stated in a variety of type styles are arranged into shapes with little symbolic reference. The massive proportions and extensive use of color prompted the small editions of only ten copies each. Emphatic color registrations through the hand-burnishing method of printing are rare, but Wolf managed to do so consistently. The artist migrated from Germany in the early

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  • Hardy Hansen

    Rex Evans Gallery

    About fifty small drawings, paintings and lithographs represent the University of Southern California teacher. He uses an incredibly fine and closely-woven warp of lines to create atmospheric fog. The emergent subjects are sometimes pure structure, more often emblematic heads in heraldic devil or skull shapes.

    Titles like “Aging Don Juan” or “Holy One” signal Hansen’s affinity for Paul Klee. His mild religious satire is amusing but sometimes detracts from the work’s abstract polish. He has learned admirable pictorial subtlety—perhaps from his teacher Josef Albers—but when it is translated into

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  • Richard Poole

    Ryder Gallery

    If there is monotony in Poole’s work, it stems from what appears to be his boredom with existence, and this permeates his subject-matter, much of which discloses man’s inner loneliness and isolation, often in the midst of pleasures and plenty. This static quality is especially apparent in “Race Track,” where both horse and rider seem frozen into place, and there is a curious lack of freedom and mobility in the animal and his master as well. In a sense he is a social commentator, and yet his most dramatic pictures are those in which his subjectivity is most extreme. “Cantina” has overtones of

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  • Brad Jernigan

    Galerie Gregg Juarez:

    A tepidly titillating Disneyland of pornography to say the most. Here are more of those Hollywood nudie cuties technicolored to cartoon quintessence for your puerile purveyance, not to mention such slyly satirical additions as “What’s happened to my G String?” from a gamboling guitarist who is obviously a born loser. Not recommended for adults.

    Estelle Kurzen

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  • Roy James Hedlund Collection, Melanesian Art

    The Emerson Gallery, Encino

    Though first-rate examples of New Guinea art are rare, this selection is of recent but sound, representative quality, made up of highly unusual items. Showing a small sampling of pieces collected over the last six years during three expeditions by the youthful Hedlund, they are presented as from perhaps the last available major holdings.

    Typical of most primitive work the primary quality is a durable and marvelous vitality. At one time distant, abstract, and unusual in their forms, proportions and iconography, the ancestral figures from Burui and Maprik Hills for instance are also assertive in

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  • Sister Mary Corita, I.H.M.

    Roberts Gallery, Encino

    One of the Southland’s dynamic forces, Sister Mary Corita presents updated versions of her seri-graphed texts. She (along with the direction of her school’s art department) has moved from a lyric or primitive naivete to au courant modes of Pop and the geometric. Despite the architectonic nature of the arrangements, slabs of bright color, the occasional use of fluorescent pigment and changes in scale, her prints demand to be read. The words of such illustrious leaders as Stevenson, Nehru, U Thant, Camus, and John XXIII are pitted against massive typographic elements, the zesty punch lines from

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  • Polynesia

    San Fernando Valley State College

    In the first of a four part review of the arts of the Pacific area, the exhibition couples objects from the twelve major island groups with 19th century Western pictorial records of contact with these novel regions and their natives. A word of commendation should be given the staff for their success in displaying some one hundred small to tiny-scaled artifacts with taste. Decorative interludes of tapa cloth separate and enhance statues, ceremonial clubs, staffs, and paddles, tools, containers, fans and personal adornments.

    The elegant works convey a restrained, even somber, rigor through the

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  • Bob Click

    Kozlow Gallery, Encino

    Click’s wide ranging interludes stem from his background in printmaking: his collages, paintings, and serigraphs reflect the stencil process; his frottages, reliefs, acrylics and watercolors develop along the lines of traditionally severe intaglios. His realistic figures deal with skeletal forms, shell-like coverings, and abstractions of value patterns. Several show an interest in repetition of similar motifs (dolls, head photos, balls, coins), or a contrast of a geometric pair of ovoids—heraldic fashion—above and below or left and right. There is no doubt his hand is skilled. The tender pencil

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  • Coar, Heinecken, Rink

    Long Beach Museum of Art

    Imagination and ability combined make up this superb exhibit of art-photography. In the black and white prints of Robert Heinecken is manifested the most creative and versatile approach to the photography medium. In attempting to “trigger responses on associative as well as on formal levels,” as the artist has stated, Heinecken produces surreal and neo-Dada compositions through innumerable technical devices. Most often incongruous images are juxtaposed in a variety of ways: by fragmenting then reorganizing segments of a single photo, as in the multiple solution puzzles; by combining a number of

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  • English Monumental Brass Rubbings

    Long Beach Museum of Art

    Both from the collection of and made by Mrs. Max Schaeffer are these black crayon-like rubbings from the 13th-to-17th-century brass effigies mounted on the flat stone tomb slabs of England. Very decorated figures ranging in size from greater-than-life (the oldest) to about one-half life size (the most recent), the rubbings are of historical more than esthetic interest, since the tracing technique is completely lacking in creativity. The figures themselves are most interesting for their costuming and iconographical selection.

    Charleen Steen

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  • Roger Darricarrere

    Palos Verdes Community Arts Association

    Although a wide variety of media are shown, Darricarrere’s primary one is obviously stained glass. Three large windows plus one mammoth colored drawing to be made into a stained glass window-wall dominate the exhibit. Although religious in theme and content, the formal design of these works takes precedence over the symbols. Color is brilliant, and the linear divisions produce swirling masses. There are also occasional textural variations. The resultant compositions make a striking architectural complement.

    Also included in the show are two oil paintings, one metal sculpture and assorted drawings

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