Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Forty Works in Show By Artists' Guild

Members of the Artists' Guild of Washington have put on an exhibition of 40 works in various established media, as well as unusual combinations of them. The committee which assembled and installed the show was composed of Prentiss Taylor, chairman; Lucile Evans and Leonard Maurer, all of whom are represented. They made the most of the show's five sculptures, which, instead of being lost in the numerical superiority of water colors, prints and drawings, actually dominate the gallery of the American Institute of Architects' administration building (1741 New York Avenue).

First in this quintet of miscellaneous sculptures is Maxim Elias' "Bird," suspended from the ceiling. It is a clever construction of several pieces of wood, and slightly daffy, adding a little gayety to our somber times. Pietro Lazzari's beautiful cast stone portrait head has arresting vitality. Also in cast stone is Jane Love's semi-abstract figure, "Flight," its paradoxically elephantine thighs calculated to impede any movement faster than a crawl.

Leonore Straus' limestone figure diving into a gleaming black surface is sufficiently naturalistic to make one wonder how successful this "plunge" will be, in view of the creature's dubious form. Marilee Shapiro's semi-nude figure in terra cotta concludes the sculpture group on a quiet note.

Many Approaches

The Guild's membership is composed of artists of many approaches. Uncomplicated conservative water colors on view are Eliot O'Hara's "Boats and Spars," simplified and streamlined, and up to his usual high standard; Carl Nyquist's picturesque old street in Charleston, S.C. and Lois Mailou Jones' sun-drenched French village. Marcella Comes' informal capture in pastel of George Hamilton is excellent; so, too, are Prentiss Taylor's pencil portrait of a young man and his lithograph, "Summer Conversation." Frances Ferry has drawn "Man Holding a Child" in a few ink lines with convincing effect, as Kenneth Stubbs did in his little "Florentine Street" on brown paper.

Stressing design more obviously, but still naturalistic, is John Chapman Lewis' conte crayon, "Cluttered Wharf." Margaret Gates' gouache, "Seashore," conveys a mood. Sarah Baker's monotype, "The Boudoir," completely integrates the nude figure with the background, making an all-over design. Barbara Farrall's monotype, "Horsemen Under the Bridge," contrasts the procession of prancing horses with the architectural mass. Leonard Maurer's gouache, "The White Towers," is outstanding. Incidentally, it elicited enthusiastic praise from Henry Caldwell, the Corcoran Gallery's assistant director, who attended the guild show's opening.

Aline Fruhauf's chic water color caricature of Fira Benenson, with a belt coiled like a snake at her feet, is the exhibition's sole offering in this class. also unique is Andrea Zerega's large crayon and tempera painting, "Giovanni, Too, Died for His Country"; whether the message would be as clear minus the title, is doubtful.

Several facets of abstraction are represented, among them Peter Blanc's "Falconer," in wax and tempera; Lucile Evans' two works, Jacob Kainen's "The Vessel," Marilee Shapiro's high-eyed pastel, "Expansion," like a widening ripple; William Thompson's "Stilts Walker" in a red V-shaped pattern, and Norma Mazo's color lithograph, "Living Things," which would make a good textile design. Jack Perlmutter's color lithograph, "Reflections at Night," was included in his one-man show at the IFA Galleries, reviewed here two weeks ago.

The Artists' Guild exhibition will remain through August 14.

Florence S. Berryman, Washington Star, June 29, 1952, page C5