Quality of Consequence

Jules Engel at Tobey C. Moss Gallery

There is a real compression in Jules Engel’s early work, whether of precision (Circles I, 1939) or in jumbled masses of form. It’s a long breathing easy after that, with a great love of l’Impair, a great desire to see forms and colors doing things, tempered by innocuous obscurity at CalArts, where he has the leisure to study foliage as fields, and do (in his ninth decade) the best work he’s done.

Jules Engel
Circles I
9 1/2 x 12"

Jules Engel
Verona (Old Town No. 2)
gouache on paper
22 1/8 x 19"

His films follow Fischinger (who would have admired them greatly), borrowing things from Klee and Albers and Kline and McLaughlin and even late Van Gogh to piece together profound little studies of two or four minutes’ duration. Many, such as Accident (1973) and Villa Rospigliosi (1988), have been very badly imitated over the years, by PBS for American Masters, by Frank O. Gehry and Richard Meier for Walt Disney Concert Hall and Getty Museum, respectively.

Jules Engel
Geranium Pot 
color lithograph
6 7/8 x 7"

Jules Engel
color lithograph
15 3/4 x 10 1/2"

“The art of the last 40 years,” says Dave Hickey, “has no consequences.” Oh, but it has.

Jules Engel
Quality of Consequence
collage on foam board