1961-12 Beverly Hills Times Art Review

Republished by Jean Jarvaise on Dec 12, 1961 at 09:44 PM in Article Archives 1940s to 1970s in Article Archives 1940s to 1970s


1961-12-12 | Beverly Hills Times ART REVIEW


While most local galleries have chosen to show light gayish, Christmas-spirited works of art at this time, Felix Landau is currently exhibiting what TV, serlallism might tanslate' as a "heavy". Through January 6 James Jarvaise is showing over 25 mighty oils, varying in measure from life-size to just a few inches. 

Like not a few of his contemporaries, Jarvaise has rejected, at least for the time being, his well-known non-figurative works for moody still-lives, expressionless figures, and turbulent landscapes. These pictures are every bit as Juicy as his former paintings and Are only superficially related to the now famous San Francisco art of Diebenkorn, Parka, Bischoff, etc.

Granted, the subject matter bears a philosophical kinship that of unreal, posed, quiet, depersonalized, common-denominator universal people as part of a grandiose natural panorama. Nevertheless, Jarvaise's paintings insist that negative space remain unequivocally negative and as such, imposes a renaissance spatial dynamic which is necessarily Traditional in its exploitation of Pictorial drama. His big, broad, sweeping MlpIW- of color Me laid upon tile canvas with enol'1Dously skillful bravado, clearly separating background from foreground in a manner slightly reminiscent of Edward Munch. As a matter of fact, much of Munch's kind of formal intensity, penetration into mystery (without, however, its penchant for thee bizarre) is in evidence here.

"Man in Surf No.2" is especially powerful, perhaps because of its audacious comingling of thrilling psychological and the plasticized wispy, guitar-shaped ghost of a figure looms against a large, dark valley, now emerging, now disappearing with an elusiveness both subtle but insistent. Jarvaise does accomplish the difficult feat of making you believe in his illusions and has introduced a hotly body of works which are very painterly, well-controlled and emotionally invigorating.....