Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Guild's Tenth

The 10th annual exhibition of the Artists' Guild of Washington, on view at the Natural History Building, National Museum, through January 4, reveals no startling innovations. As in previous annuals, it includes works from conservative to abstract, reflecting the range of its members' approaches. Some of the artists are represented with two works each, making a total of nearly 50 paintings, and about 10 or 12 sculptures. The latter are largely in contemporary idioms.

The most conspicious placement is given to the crucifix of iron welded and brazed, by Father Alexis Robertson, O. F. M. (Catholic University). The extremely attenuated and elongated figure of Christ is reminiscent of the sculptures of Giacommetti. Near it is another interpretation of the suffering Christ, Pietro Lazzari's large casein and oil painting "Ecce Homo."

Fish and birds have intrigued several of the exhibiting sculptors. Maxim Elias has both in his amusing, simplified, unpolished wood, "Sea Bird and Fish," to be suspended from a ceiling. Clare Fontanini's "Fish," of granadilla wood, is beautifully finished, bringing out the handsome grain of the wood in this long form so thin it seems almost two-dimensional. Lenore Strauss' painted sandstone, fairly naturalistic "Counselor," has a hole in his chest, providing a haven for a predatory-looking bronze bird. There is obviously some symbolism here, but it eludes me.

Marilee Shapiro shows two facets of her talent in her conservative little terra-cotta figure, "Respite," and her plaster abstraction, "the Last Waltz," a "painting-sculpture" in two layers. Hazel Van Natter has gone romantic in her little abstract black walnut, "Lady Has a Rendezvous."

Paintings I like best are Leonard Maurer's lovely "Sea Town," Omar Carrington's "Melancholy Day," an abstraction in grays; Andrea Zerega's simple "Still Life," reticent in form and colors; John Chapman Lewis' "Shore Signals," Mary Watkins' humorous "Padres on Horseback," a modern Don Quixote and the faithful Sancho; Peter Blank's gouache of an alert eagle, "Proud Bird"; Kenneth Stubbs' "Positano," Eugen Weisz' "Oak Leagues" against turquoise; and more conservative works, Carl Nyquist's "Graveyard of Old Boats," and Rowland Lyon's "Autumn Over Harper's Ferry," both water colors, and Lois Jones' oil still life of several figured fabrics and a variety of fruits and flowers.

Florence S. Berryman, Washington Star, Sunday, December 21, 1952, page E-7