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[[image - painting]] ALCATRAZ MILLARD SHEETS Included in the one-man show on view at the Milch Galleries. GALLERY NOTES by ELIZABETH McCAUSLAND WHILE civil liberties invade Jersey City, "modern art" for two years has been quietly fighting its battle in Newark, in the modest quarters of the Cooperative Gallery, two blocks down the street from the Newark Museum. The only private gallery in Newark-on indeed in the state of New Jersey-devoted to the cause of contemporary American work, this gallery plans to exhibit painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs by prominent artists, as well as to bring to light the younger artists of its own community. Until March 5 it is showing paintings, water colors and pastels by Bernard Gussow; the previous month it displayed work by five New Jersey artists, in which a considerable degree of talent is to be found. A painter who has been through the wars for modern art, Gussow makes an ingratiating representative of his cause in this small exhibition. The oils, with a surface dry and cool in quality, are simple and lyrical in appeal. Low in key, they do not shout their theme. Yet a large canvas like Subway Passage is interesting both for its formal attributes as its use of a simplified composition, and for its invocation of social suggestions, as are Down the 'El', Strap Hangers and Strollers. Though one would not call the artist's approach "social" in the current usage, yet such a picture as that of a child practicing against a flat yellow background, does not suggest any retreat from reality; the child playing is a fact, presented, without nostalgia or Weltschmerz. A sincere, honest feeling, is the feeling for nature shown in the two pastels, Trees and Autumn Woods, and in the water colors Child in Summer and Shoeing the Horse. American artists with a bent toward social criticism find their best channels of expression in the hasty daily cartoon or caricature; a few find time an opportunity to entrust their satiric message to more lasting materials than rapidly yellowing newsprint. The British temper, however, demands more orderliness about art; hence the meticulous pains taken by Will Dyson to etch his acid comments on society. The memorial exhibition of his etchings at the Ferargil Gallery, which will remain on view until March 13, is an extremely interesting demonstration of how a national rhythm or tempo manifests itself in a man's work. Born in Australia, Dyson was a liberal who on his emigration to England identified himself with the liberal reform movements in that country, becoming known as a cartoonist on the Daily Herald. Official artist of the Australian forces in the World War, he had the satisfaction of seeing his prints deposited in the government museums of several countries. In the post-war period, he became more the critic of follies and foibles as revealed in individuals than of the social institutions which produce these aberrations. It was a purely English kind of humor, out of Punch by way of Australia, a style and an idiom which bore the imprint "Made in Great Britain" as surely as a London Times editorial. Withal the etchings could be thought of as exercising a corrective esthetic castigation which was compact of ready inventiveness, an almost Oxonian premonition of the correct "gag" line, and a stern sense of duty when it came to technical execution. His prints represent a great many hours of hard labor, and are in contrast to Daumier's dashing drawings in Caricature and Charivari. Concurrently with the Dyson etchings, the Ferargil Gallery is showing recent paintings by John Folinsbee, N. A., a member of the New Hope group. Landscape is his especial theme, romantic and stormy, whether the Maine Coast, Pennsylvania mining towns or the Delaware Valley. Nature in a more smiling mood is the chief preoccupation of the Amagansett Group, which exhibited its work at the Morton Gallery during the last two weeks of February. TWENTY-FOUR
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