new-york

“Black Artists 1970”

Visual Arts Gallery

In a group show called “Black Artists 1970," at the Visual Arts Gallery, only three figures out of sixteen evidence any talent. Bill Howell achieves a hieroglyphic, iconic expressionism in his Growth of a New Life and a sensitive, poetic imagism in his Twelve Seeds of Truth; neither of these is in a mode that I enjoy, but I can grasp their competence. Romare Bearden’s Morning collage includes one very fine Légeresque female figure, but the piece suffers from an unbalanced and overcomplicated, pseudo-De Stijl background. Perhaps the best single piece is a stone head by Warren L. Harris, of his son Warren, Jr.; this massive little black head rests, quite sensitively, on a lithographic stone for a base. Otherwise, the level of quality is less than academic, with the exception of Elton C. Fax’s charcoal Bread! Ethiopia, which is successfully neoVictorian, like a European’s travel sketch from

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