Art: U. S. Scene

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California. The Pacific Coast has given its fair share of fame ot San Francisco Artists Lucien Labaudt, Otis Oldfield, Jane Berlandia, Charles Stafford Duncan. Lately from Southern California have come two sturdy contenders for the title "best in the West" ? Los Angeles' Millard Sheets and Pasadena's Paul Starrett Sample. At 19, husky blond Artist Sheets deliberately set out to win prize money to finance his painting, made $2,500 from ten prizes in two years. Today at 27, he is head of the art department at Scripps College, Claremont. His PWAP canvas Tenement Flats, showing gossiping women against a design of bleak, wash-strung flats, was chosen by President Roosevelt to hang in the White House. Huge Paul Sample, a onetime Dartmouth tackle, divides his time between California and Vermont. He has sometimes shown the influence of Benton and Wood, like many another modern says his favorite painter is Breughel. A professor of painting at University of Southern California, he won two successive National Academy prizes with completely unacademic pictures.

Taos is in incredible country. The New Mexican sunlight is so intense that it casts shadows that would seem outrageous anywhere else. In Taos, reality is almost Cubism and Taos shadows are actually as elongated and mysterious as those in Salvador Dali's Surrealism (TIME, Nov. 29). the Taos art colony was founded in 1898, today boasts some 34 painters. Most influential is barrel-chested Andrew Dasburg who looks like Beethoven and tortures himself in order to translate Taos light and form into oil paintings. Emil Bistran is slowly working away from representation to symbolism but has never yet failed to produce a lucid canvas. kenneth Adams thinks the Southwestern artist should evolve a formal design from the distortions of light, displays a strong feeling for form.

Probably no region in the U. S. can produce such distorted pictures as Taos and still claim that they record actuality. The fact that Taos artists are, as a rule, content not to exaggerate their region's natural exaggerations, puts them directly into the main stream of U. S. representationalism along with Grant Wood and his threshers, Burchfield and his gloomy houses, Benton and his squirming racketeers.

*In 1928, peak art year, the turnover was approximately one billion dollars.

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