Los Angeles

Fourth Annual Southern California Exhibition

Long Beach Museum Of Art

Jurors Warren Beach, Claire Falkenstein and Kenneth Ross did an excellent job in selecting a broad diversity of styles without compromising on the quality of work. Many new faces and surprisingly few old names contribute to the freshness of the show (although there are quite a few familiar-looking selections by unfamiliar people).

Particularly impressive is the quantity of fine sculptures, ranging from the very basic, symbolic tree stump carving Mother Walking Her Five Corks by Barry McCallion to the completely formal, geometric, symmetrical, colored plexiglass organization of Robert Stevenson. Equally estimable are Shiro Ikegawa’s strangely evocative, roughly hewn untitled bronze; Miles Varner’s hard-edge painted steel box with bulbous projections, “The Marquis’ Clock”; Robert Bassler’s Wood Construction, an irregular pile-up of carefully worn down striated, grainy wood segments; Ralph F. Dunham’s simple steel cylinder structure with its tense, complex balance; and many others.

The paintings are not as outstanding or vital somehow, although almost all manifest ability and sensitivity. Once again style varies from the rigidly formal, such as Richard H. Klix’s Symbol Structure, to the loose and emotional, such as Carl Knitig’s washy, dramatic Moon Dog, with many selections falling in between, especially in the distorted figurative vein evolved from the San Francisco school. Most notable painted selections include Stuart J. Caswell’s dark, compartmentalized fantasy, Winged Cabinet; Ken Wynsma’s Narrative Two and Post Script, a torn collage of white blocky forms suspended on black; Eli Karpel’s Thirteen, so “op” that it bothers the eyes to look at it; Frederick Orth’s heavily painted, close hued Blue Ladies; Joseph Nardi’s metallic monochrome Corrosion.

Charlene Steen