Los Angeles

“Non-Objective Paintings and Sculptures”

Los Angeles Art Association Galleries

The show is not quite what it says it is: in addition to the above media there are prints and a strong minority are anything but nonobjective (abstracted paintings with indications of grassy knolls, insect life, lunar landscapes and the Pacific Ocean, and with titles like Hillside and Chrysalis). Then there is the matter of to what end the Association aims its shows; the quaint, neighborhood quality of three-dozen feckless imitations of the merchandise of the commercial houses is lessened when one understands that the intent of the exhibition is to give career impetus to younger talents culled from a body of “professional quality” members. The show is an object lesson for total disbelievers in current art in that it demonstrates that every style has its men and boys. Harold Weisenborn’s Splash is a clever, formed-canvas painting depicting (quite literally) the moment of impact of a round object on a body of water, but it suffers (and is different from the “pro” item of its stripe) from cuteness and the discordant red piping around the perimeter of the “splash.” Construction in Orange by Clea Sa is a bit of expediency marred by a horrible mounting (orange plastic against polished, dark wood) and shoddy craft (the “hard” edges look as though they were bitten off), and Beverly Green’s Hillside is one of those formula, high-horizon abstracted landscapes which is made duller by unadventurous color and painting. A Nicholson-like work by Channa Davis is well-plotted, but it reveals why Nicholson has avoided emphatic diagonals and value contrasts. Judy Seidenbaum’s sculpture, to complete the negatives, is too small (another element available in greater scope to the commercial gallery artist is, apparently, size) and in its placement is virtually ostracized.

The best painting in the show is Stephen Kissel’s Tableau, a small, simple totem combination in muted, thick pigments; it is supported in relieving the ineffectiveness of the exhibition as a whole by abstractions by Nicholas Brigante and Alex Vilumsons. Among the other contributors are Aimee Bourdeau, Judith Issacson, Belle Osipow and June Nason.

Peter Plagens