Los Angeles

“Color”

UCLA Art Gallery

“Color” at UCLA is a curious affair: on one hand it appears a can’t-miss overture—half a dozen manufacturers of chromatic delectation, a collection of paintings and a catalog both hip, scholarly and decorative in the extreme; on the other, it is tepid and disjointed. The reasons for this negative element lie partly in the mechanics behind the show and partly in the exhibition itself. The acknowledgement states that the exhibition is an educational exercise: ten graduate students assigned themselves six artists, gathered the show, and wrote the appropriate catalog essays. As with novels by undergraduates, one-man shows by Venezuelan painters and press conferences by Weathermen, one never quite knows whether to ingest the phenomenon with (implied) apology for the source’s shortcomings, or to take it straight. The painters here are major and the production is MGM, so we take it straight.

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