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With summer headquarters at the art school directed by Hilton Leech, these painters have been free to range the dunes of eastern Long Island for subject-matter and inspiration. No wonder that some of the best paintings shown present such familiar scenes as the Montauk lighthouse, a Sag Harbor house, and a characteristic windmill jutting up above the lengthening shadows of old tombstones. The artists exhibiting were: Constance Clark, Katharine Gage, Katherine B. S. Larkin, Lawrence Larkin, Arthur Mokray, Gertrude Pierson, Marie Louise Purssell, Dorothy A. Sherman, Clara Strond, Eleanor Waterhouse, Rea Wilson and Virginia Winston. Paul Klee is one of those baffling painters, who refuse to submit to the tyranny of fashion or trend. A relentless innovator, a true craftsman of his medium, he anticipated dada, surrealism and even some phases of Picasso's psychological period. Historian of the fantasy of the uncensored subconscious, he does not arouse the customary emotions of the cult of negation and non-reason. On the contrary, his paintings, even with their non-objective rejection of subject-matter from the external world, seem imminent and real as objects in paint. Such a canvas as But The Red Roof! 1935, reveals the painter's preoccupation with two problems, the treatment of textures in paint and the division of space. Another sort of textural quality is sought in Little Village in the Autumn Sun, 1918, soberer in color, but very delicate in the combined use of brushstrokes and pen to make the artist's blueprint of unreality. Siesta of the Sphinx, 1932, an abstract comedy, achieves its effect by simplification of areas. Monument for Giza Island, 1932 and Cliffs by the Sea, 1931, attempt still other problems, the first filling its area by an apparently simple device, the alternation of strips of color as in a Chimayo blanket; the second creating texture by mixing sand in the ground, over which the picture is stippled; the third carrying the divisionist mosaic to a larger scale and a more mathematical application. Great inventiveness and great charm. With Kandinsky, also a forerunner of abstract and fantastic art, experiment led in another direction. The canvases at Nierendorf's made this distinction clear; Kandinsky is the romantic, outward-moving soul, paint flung on canvas in an explosion of color, forced on with the compressed power of the air-brush, imprisoned within the drastic confines of his own precise calligraphy. The very formal Rot mit Netz, 1927, expresses this compulsion, while the early Landscape of 1911 reveals the artist's emotional ferment. Gemässigt, 1925, and Yellow Center, 1934, show another pair of opposites, careful rich painting in the former, especially in the crimson sphere, and concern with sensations of space and enveloping air in the latter. In comparison, Feininger seems almost too gentle for the tumults of a harsh world. Considered "American" abroad, to the American at home he has the native quality only insofar as Whistler, sheltered in Chelsea, had it. Nonetheless his water colors have a pleasant melancholy, fragile and poetic. The recent oils by Kenneth Hayes Miller shown at the Rehn Gallery through February arc an impressive document of the power of an idea, even a bad one. One of our foremost figure painters, Mr. Miller has exerted a tremendous influence on painting in America in our time, through his teaching and through the widening ripples of his style as seen in his pupils' work. Himself a pupil of Chase, he has come to occupy a place somewhat like that of his master. It is important to remember this fact in viewing his pictures, because a man's work is the criterion of what he stands for, both in creative and in educational fields. Frankly, what Mr. Miller seems to stand for, from the testimony of this exhibition, is a cultural recidivism. The most ambitious canvas, Nude by Penthouse Window, about four by six feet is a XX century version of Manet's Olympia. The black cat has been metamorphosed into a yellow tabby, the Negro maid is bringing a corsage of modern type instead of the stiff Victorian bouquet of 1865, the pent house provides a view over the river. But nothing has been added; the original conception has not been expanded, nor has it been given the fillip of the sock of satire of surprise. This is typical as when the Renaissance [[image - a sculpture]] SEATED WOMAN by CARL L. SCHMITZ In the annual exhibition of contemporary American sculpture, watercolors, drawings and prints on view at the Whitney Museum until April. TWENTY-FIVE
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