San Francisco

Arne Hiersoux

Mills College Art Gallery

The recent paintings by Arne Hiersoux, which fill the spacious Mills College Art Gallery with more than just square footage of canvas even though they are huge in size and sometimes irregular in shape, would seem to dramatize those responses shared by all forms of organic life to the point at which they become emotions. From that point on, he specializes in the intricate and sophisticated problems of the human being. The attraction of male to female is indicated, but his biological symbolism is so generalized that it could relate to flora as well as fauna. When he designates the human experience, however, as in his continuation of the theme of the falling figure and sudden, piercing death, Hiersoux becomes more specific and the commentary is on those problems arising from the spiritual development attendant upon super-civilization. He has been concerned with death and the falling figure in his past two shows, but here he has broadened the subject to include certain moments in the life experience when birth and death are nearly synonymous—and a state of crisis is a continuing condition. He has kept his colors muted, and has added metallic paints to his palette. The silvery aluminum adds impersonal, inorganic notes to subject-matter which is mainly stated in those reds, oranges and blacks that carry an edge of cruelty.

E. M. Polley