Tender Statues


SoCal: Southern California Art of the 1960s and 70s from LACMA’s Collection
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Craig Kauffman
Yellow Orange
Acrylic on vacuum-molded plexiglas
46˝ x 90 inches

The Impressionists painted what they saw, these artists what they knew, rather.

So much for “the myth of both Californias”.

Ron Davis’s Roto and Big Blue, Ron Cooper’s great untitled translucent resin-canvas of ’68-’69, Larry Bell’s Old Cotton Fields Back Home (a bare canvas, trimmed at two corners, ornamented with vertical stripes left and right. tapering inward or flaring, orange) and Magic Boxes (a similar canvas, black around the periphery, then white, the center an inlaid construction of mirrors, Picabia’s Cézanne-monkey made into a target of speculation on those inwoven perspectives, the sides of the canvas also mirrored) and Cube and his large untitled angle of hypercoated glass, Craig Kauffman’s Yellow Orange raincloud, John McCracken’s rectangular red surfboard called Don’t Tell Me When to Stop, Robert Irwin’s Band in Boston and cast acrylic tower, early Ed Moses, a projected James Turrell and a situated Doug Wheeler, Joe Goode, Llyn Foulkes’ Blue Landscape, Peter Alexander, Ed Kienholz’s superb dramatic genius, and Wallace Berman’s Semina, from which these two extracts:


The Detective



Accustomed to saying “no”

To be overheard, by lovers, saying “vous”,

Tender statues,

Has been your death


Fair patricians, buoys of heaven,

armless, wingless,

Without nose, pose

Erect on the balustrade


You will do well to watch me,

To take the way to the tombs

To say no, make music

Hush the voice, shatter your hands

Your heads, your feet: I see you.


I have tracked you from London,

All your shadows borne along

Show your profile from the left,

And now you arrive, full face,

On the roadstead of the port.


Jean Cocteau

tr. Will Harriss



it was her love

for the motormans glove

that made her destroy

his tender tin toy


John Reed

printed on a photographic nude by Chas. Stark