Paintings by artists who have scored notably on various occasions and artists who are rising with promise to the best possibilities of their professions were on the current week’s roster of exhibitors. William Brice at the Downtown gallery has one of the most interesting shows to be seen. A native of New York now living in Los Angeles, he has studied at the Art Students League here and at the Chouinard Institute in California. He has had one picture shown at the Whitney Museum, a straightforward naturalistic study of seaweed.
Considerable technical understanding combined with a growing imaginative interest in natural objects such as driftwood, shells and coastal rock formations lend character to Mr. Brice’s work. It has solidity of form and substance, a careful sense of the facts, but what is more unusual, a tendency toward selection and creative arrangement. With his current brooding and not unpoetic color in a trend toward opaque grays and browns, his work is not enlivened by color though its feeling is sensitivity austere. Progress in the effective “Las Tunas,” whose forms the artist recomposed to achieve an intended originality, is toward the abstract. In this trend which appears to be well launched beyond the initial factualness perceptible in “Young Woman” and “Kelp” are such familiar pieces as “Sea Rocks,” “Abalone Shells” and “Chalk Hill,” each a reticent, effectively simple study in natural formalizing.