Abstract Monotypes and Familiar Sculptures

Artistic Masterpieces Are on Display in a Collection of Gifts

Eye-catching prints make "Gifted" well worth to visit, when the Atkinson Gallery shows a selection of contemporary art donated to City College over the years.

Most of the monotypes, which are prints in one copy, are not only artistic masterpieces; they show the craftsmanship of Garner Tullis, who moved his workshop from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara in 1985.

Tullis collaborated with many artists, like Lynda Benglis, David Reed, Don Gummer, Rick Stitch, Sam Messer, Italo Scanga, Peggy Wirta Dahl, David Row, Charles Arnoldi, Richard Nonas and Catherine Lee. Each has at least one monotype on display.

Benglis' untitled print shows a sample of her playfulness with color and abstractions, while a giant blue composition by John Walker is one of the most striking monotypes at the exhibition.

Reed is the only artist represented by two monotypes. Unfortunately, the signs with background information were mixed up when the ar was installedt.

Jerry Smith's ink-like lithograph "Faces, Klee si Lagee Lauck" in black and red illustrates a story from Native American mythology. It is placed above Millard Sheets' colorful serigraph "Woman and Horse."

One of the most vivid artworks at the exhibition is Richard Ross' "Triptych" from 1987. Three color photographs depict blurred close-ups of a human body. Noticeable are also two sculptures in mixed media by Roland Reiss, which was donated by Leatrice Luria and is being shown for the first time.

Robert Frame's "Red Still Life" is the only oil at the exhibition. It was given to the college by the artist and depicts a sliced melon and other fruits. One of the highlights of the exhibition, the painting uses a perfect balance of color and form to absorb the viewer.

Six ceramics are on display. Many suggest objects for ordinary usage, like a vase, a jug and a teapot. They are all high quality in design and craftsmanship.

"Gifted" also shows two photos of Fletcher Benton's painted steel sculptures "Three Triangles" and "Fold Circle Arch," and one photo of Aristides Demetrios' bronze fountain "Mentors," which strategically stand on the heights on West Campus.

Most of the exhibited artists are Americans, but there are also artworks by a few international artists. Four out of the 26 artists are women.

Eleven monotypes at "Gifted" are from Tullis' collection of 33 prints donated to City College in 1990. Other donors at the exhibition are Barry Berkus, J.W. & Susanne Colin, Henry Huglin and Michael Towbes. There are also artworks given by the different artists.

The exhibition will continue until Friday at the Atkinson Gallery, located in the Humanities Building on East Campus.

©Torgny Lilja/The Channels (2009)