New York

Frank Lobdell

Martha Jackson Gallery

Frank Lobdell, born in 1921 in Kansas City, Missouri, has spent most of his artistic life on the West Coast. This shows only in the slight influence of California light in his sense of color. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the development of his painting, but the works I’m reviewing here seemed academic in the fullest sense, which is to say that the references they make to Matisse are at least accompanied by a high degree of technical control. Otherwise, these pieces of work reveal a tendency to articulate a cliché and then persistently lapse into it—the same curved line seems to control a corner in painting after painting. To me, the most interesting works in the show were two paintings called, respectively, Fall and Summer, both of which were painted in 1973. They are so similar as to invite comparison. Both have a sandy colored field attached to the perimeter at all points except the

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