• Painting in New York, 1944–69 and West Coast, 1945–69

    Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA)

    The two opening exhibitions at the new quarters of the Pasadena Art Museum have fostered a static, the intensity of which has not been heard in this town since the censoring of Kienholz’s Back Seat Dodge at the County Museum of Art. Most of the flak comes from local artists included in the show who felt that West Coast art had been rudely relegated to a secondary position in installation and, through poor selection, in quality as well. “West Coast, 1945–69” is a bomb. A survey should demonstrate either catholicity or uniformity; “West Coast” has neither. The show, which has an unshakable look

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  • Sam Francis

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    The five large paintings and two smaller pictures in Sam Francis’s exhibition have been seen in New York and reviewed in these pages by Robert Pincus-Witten (December). The edge-elements, which cannot be even approximated in elfin reproductions, have come quite a way since first confusing me in Houston three years ago: they’re more painterly, veritable rainbows of combination mask and bleed which hug the edge, fan out, and alter transparencies. In making a judgment, one is presented with two basic alternatives: 1) Francis is getting designy, product-oriented, and predictable within his own

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  • Duane Lunden

    Molly Barnes Gallery

    The problem with Duane Lunden’s exhibition of black print drawings is indicative of the big flaw in the L.A. scene as a whole: the extreme availability of ideas and techniques puts a burden on esthetic and ethical tough-mindedness with which, most of the time, it is impossible to cope. Lunden shows sixteen 14 by 16-inch drawings; the series involves itself with a central linear square, bifurcated horizontally and vertically. The use of a “margin” along the lines, and the editing of portions of possible lines allows Lunden to document various permutations of the format, and the results are arranged

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  • Keith Crown

    Occidental College

    Keith Crown has been plugging away for a long time, and has been, unfortunately, limited as far as this kind of attention is concerned by several irrelevancies: he’s a watercolorist, a landscapist, and a college professor. Nevertheless, his small retrospective in hardly optimum circumstances (a friendly, tweedy college lobby alive with mahogany, floor wax and the ghosts of leather elbow patches) is a joy, especially the watercolors. Crown bullies through the natural restrictions on intensity, and the traditional overtones of his medium and pulls off some of the best small painting in my direct

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  • William Wiley

    Eugenia Butler Gallery

    William Wiley’s show is mainly one piece, Movement to Blackball Violence, comforted (economically?) by five drawings in the smaller rear gallery. “Movement” is a process, a ball of black friction tape to which one is instructed to add 150 more feet and leave one’s name; a tape recorder lets out metronomic organ (?) blasts and a doormat lies quietly (the artist sat on it at the opening) inches away. Having little faith that any art, including this work, subtitled, “Homage to Martin Luther King,” can do much about anything except subsequent art, I find the most interesting thing about it the raft

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  • Robert Harvey

    David Stuart Galleries

    Three years ago, I was put off by the time-warp sophistry of Robert Harvey’s pictures; it seemed that light, hothouse nostalgia about the thirties, rendered in very-sixties graphic design techniques (line-resolution chiaroscuro), was a bubble soon to burst. In this current show, I can see that my description is right, but my estimate of its staying power was wrong. Harvey’s exhibition, like Wiley’s, is in two parts: 1) a “room” of twenty canvas panels on which there appears. a uniform “wallpaper” of leaves and flowers executed in reddish-brown, olive, and dark green and figures of women, children

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