reviews

  • Wally Hendrick and Sam Tchakalian

    Fine Arts Pavilion, Newport Harbor

    San Francisco painters Wally Hendrick and Sam Tchakalian are being shown in limited retrospective fashion at the Fine Arts Pavilion in Balboa. It is a curious exhibition, both for the juxtaposition of artists and, in the case of Hedrick, for the selection of works. The well-illustrated catalog, with essays by Fred Martin and Gerald Nordland, offers scarcely a clue to the mystery.

    Fred Martin’s respectful essay on Hedrick must have been written with the advance purpose of conciliating a baffled audience. He is certainly aware that Hedrick’s work cannot possibly be taken seriously in the way which

    Read more
  • Peter Stroud and John McCracken

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    Peter Stroud continues to make relief paintings in emulsion on masonite. However, his recent works can no longer fittingly be called “hard-edge abstractions” as they were, appropriately, only a few years ago when Stroud was one of the “rising newer talents” in England.

    Stroud’s paintings, now at Nicholas Wilder, are basically involved more with color and a sort of linear-spatial elasticity than with edges as such. There are two basic formats in this group, and a radical variance in scale. The largest paintings (up to about 8 by 9 feet) are five-sided. There is one in red with pink ridges and one

    Read more
  • Martial Raysse

    Dwan Gallery

    French artist Martial Raysse is shown at the Dwan Gallery. Raysse is an exponent of the Pop art vocabulary, not as we have come to think of it but transposed into a quintessential French idiom. Stepping into the gallery from the insolent, high-pitched commercial atmosphere of Los Angeles, one is stimulated to a fascinating sequence of speculation about the culture just outside in contrast with the distilled view of popular French culture within.

    The striking distinction is between Raysse’s febrile, exacerbated ultra-preciosity and the American Pop culture’s untrammeled innocence in vulgarity.

    Read more
  • Marilyn Lasarow

    Herbert Palmer Los Angeles

    Marilyn Lasarow, in her group of enamel-sprayed plexiglass paintings at Herbert Palmer, demonstrates that precise craftsmanship goes a long way indeed toward predisposing the critical eye in the artist’s favor. These Constructivist-inspired works, which she calls polyoptics, fall short of complete success largely on account of a tendency to overstatement.

    Nearly all the works shown here are serial permutations of interlocking solid or striped geometric shapes, floating against clean monotonal color fields. Delimited thus, they are immediately perceived as emblems. Polyoptic Stripe #9 is one of

    Read more
  • John Hultberg and Stanley William Hayter

    Esther-Robles Gallery

    John Hultberg has recently returned from Honolulu, where his manner of working has become steadily more restrictive (which is not to say less cluttered). He has not branched out much over the years: now, it seems, his style has settled in for good.

    The Esther-Robles Gallery is showing a group of Hultberg oil paintings and collages, all but two of which were done in 1966–67. The collages, without exception, are characterized by series of images—pictorial or abstract—encased within irregular linear grids. The boundaries are accomplished with black paint, carried over to embellish or veil the contents

    Read more
  • Howard Warshaw

    Felix Lanau Gallery

    Sixty Howard Warshaw drawings and paintings, all from the last two years, are presently on display at Felix Landau. They deal with the human figure or animals, very much in the tradition of “neo-Renaissance” draftsmanship with which we associate Rico Lebrun. Many are simply studies of bodies in arrested position, including a number of ink and wash drawings of goats and horses, and a series of human heads, mostly in oil.

    In the “finished” paintings Warshaw is generally involved with bodies in motion, taking his departure from the Cubist principle of simultaneity. Moving Beast of 1967 (acrylic on

    Read more
  • Jan Peter Stern

    Ankrum Gallery

    A large group of breezy sculptures by Jan Peter Stern are at Ankrum. Stern, although he has lately had several major public commissions, remains a marginal figure on the contemporary artistic front. He has made only superficial departures from the European sculptural tradition from which he derives. The predominant tone of the present exhibition is of clever, lightweight variations on old familiar themes—third-hand Brancusi, Pevsner, Calder.

    Still these works are not without grace and elegance. His materials are stainless steel, sometimes painted black, and aluminum. Among the most pleasant are

    Read more
  • Peter Voulkos

    David Stuart Gallery

    Rarely is the traditional meaning of the word monumental so cogently relevant as it is to Peter Voulkos’s 1967 bronze colossuses, two of which are at the David Stuart Gallery. In turning from ceramics to bronze-casting, Voulkos undertook a series of hugely ambitious tasks. The results are commensurate with the controlled objective. Voulkos has been said to first cast shapes which interest him, and then to weld them together with only a tentative expectation for the results. This seems unlikely. In this exacting medium sheer fortuitousness is rarely a finally determining issue.

    Hiro II, with its

    Read more