San Francisco

Terry Allen

Michael Walls Gallery

Before a recent suspension of its exhibition schedule pending imminent relocation in more adequate premises presently in preparation, the Michael Walls Gallery exhibited drawings by Terry Allen, a young native of Wichita, Kansas, currently living in Los Angeles where he graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute. Allen displays a precocity of graphic dexterity as well as of graphic wit in a cartoon style owing much to such by-products of the Hippie sub-culture as the Zap Comics and their prototypes in “camp” psychedelic cartoon posters. In a rather prolific output of mixed-media spoofs (using mostly ink, pencil, and pale pink, blue and yellow color washes) Allen elaborates a slapstick Surrealism of funky Freudian fantasies, inhabited by tube-tentacled, cloth-limbed schmoos in grotesquely obscene postures, and abounding in youthfully audacious funk-slapstick imagery, such as water-closet interiors with fixtures and appurtenances grotesquely askew, various comic biomorphic abominations, including reptilian phallic and visceral shapes, scatological blobs and the like, all frequently set against blue skies with cotton clouds in jocular paraphrase of the impossible perspectives and improbable juxtapositions of interior and exterior vistas found in historic Surrealist painting.

Palmer D. French