Paul Sarkisian

Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA)

At a time when some critics hold that figurative impulses are thoroughly exhausted, Paul Sarkisian, at the Pasadena Art Museum, is painting highly personal and ambitious works of high quality. Nor is he simply dealing with figures, but that standard studio subject, the nude; and then, nudes treated allegorically. It is a tribute to the artist that he has successfully resuscitated this totally disregarded mode. Though he readily admits to the influence of Pop art five years ago (but confirms only a few of its basic tenets), there is little that prepares one for the impact of these paintings.

Sarkisian’s style is thoroughly immaculate, more than tight or precise, but rather pristine in the control of outlines, smoothness of modeling, and sureness of composition; it is attention devoted to the justness of relationships. Nothing is extraneous because severe editing permits nothing superfluous

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