Jean Mannheim (1863-1945), "Portrait of a Woman," 39 1/4 x 34", c. 1915.
Courtesy George Stern Fine Arts.

William Wendt (1865-1946), "Green and Gold," oil on board, 30 x 40", 1926.
Courtesy William A. Karges Fine Art.

The Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA) brings its third annual Los Angeles Art Show to the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA from September 19-21. What distinguishes FADA's gallery constituency is the absence of contemporary art dealers. Founded recently, in 1990, FADA provides an umbrella for those dealers whose interests focus on recent and historical representational art that does not veer into lowbrow commercialism. What we have here is serious traditionalism.

Plein-air, Impressionist, Hudson River, Paris Salon and Royal Academy artists will dominate the viewing experience. Familiar with Millard Sheets, Georgia O'Keefe, Frederic Remington, William Wendt, Albert Bierstadt, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Home, James McNeill Whistler? These are some of the heavyweights that will set the tone. As FADA has grown, and its affiliates present this type of art at Art Expositions such as this, a revitalization of the presentation of art that has class without cutting edge identification has become apparent.

For many of you this will come as welcome good news--and this Exposition is a "must see." Those who go for the latest and most innovative can stay home for this one. At the risk of restating the point, let there be no misunderstanding about the nature of the art that will be represented here: it will be aesthetically conservative, and of consistently high quality.

The 38 participating galleries arrive from ten states scattered throughout the country, though 26 are from California and New York. It's exciting to see them now emerging from relative obscurity to establish themselves as a significant force in the American art world. The Los Angeles Art Show is an important opportunity for their case to be made.

The FADA Exposition opens with a reception to benefit CaP CURE on Friday the 19th, 6-10pm. CaP CURE supports research for finding cures for prostate and other forms of cancer. Benefit tickets are $100, and also include admission during the entire weekend, a copy of the show catalogue, and lectures by Oakland Museum Senior Curator Harvey L. Jones and University of Utah professor Will South (times still to be announced at press time). Saturday hours are 11am to 7pm, Sunday's run from 11am to 5pm. Admission is $10, which gets you a copy of the catalogue and entry on both days. For further information call 1 (800) 656-9278.

Robert Rahway Zakanitch, "Big Bungalow Suite, Panel IV" (detail), a/c, 11 x 30', 1992/93

The oversized Big Bungalow Suite paintings of Robert Rahway Zakanitch may remind you of the decorative overkill of, say, Robert Kushner. Sure enough, Zakanitch was a mainstay of the Pattern and Decoration movement twenty years back, and he has remained true to his stripes. The seemingly spontaneous brushwork, complete with liquidy drips and splatters, became one of the baroque, joie de vivre homes of post-Abstract Expressionist painters after the rise of Pop, Minimalism and Conceptualism, and helped keep paint-pushing lively prior to the explosion of neo-Expressionism during the '80s. Zakanitch shows there is plenty of opportunity to mine personal memories and experiences and incorporate them with ambitious, celebratory painting (Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College, East L.A. County; Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica).

Pat Warner, "Enter, Walk, Listen", detail of installation, pine, 10 x 26', 1997.

If you were planning to drive out to the Angeles Forest this weekend to commune with nature, you might make an addition stop to see Pat Warner's Enter, Walk, Listen installation too. Warner simulates a small forest, complete with forest path, using 85 sculpted trees. The spiral walkway leads to a carpet of images of Palos Verdes' fauna and flora. Rather than bogging down into a pale reflection of the real thing, the stylization and structure of the installation makes it equally suggestive of architecture. There is a European tradition, centuries old, of the maze garden, designed to guide the visitor to reflect or meditate in a natural setting. This plays to a similar impulse, but with an environmental-ist's polemic, built from artist's materials rather than rooted in the soil (Palos Verdes Art Center, South Bay).


Richard Maury, "Standing Nude,"
o/c, 63 x 43", 1986.

Stephen Douglas, "Jeffrey," o/l, 50 x 46", 1993.

A well-selected group of a dozen artists assert the vital spirit of focused figure painting and drawing in Body Language: Current Figurative Painters. Realism, allegory, romanticism, and classical academicism are represented in works by Sharon Allicotti, Wes Christensen, Stephen Douglas, Christopher James, Anitz Janasova, John Lincoln, Richard Maury, John Nava, Claudia Parducci, Wade Reynolds and Nelson Shanks. Guest curator Grady Harp brings his fifteen years of experience directing the Lizardi/Harp Gallery, formerly one of Southern California's best contemporary figurative-oriented spaces (Art Institute of Southern California [AISC], Orange County).

Harold E. Edgerton, "How to Make Applesauce at MIT", photograph, 1964. Courtesy Edgerton Foundation © 1992.

Don't miss the great strobe photographs of Dr. Harold E. Edgerton, especially if you are not yet familiar with them. What began as a scientific examination of natural phenomena evolved a parallel study of pure form in nature. The famous milk drop has become an iconic image that almost everyone has seen--but there is much more here (Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego).