Home -> Reviews -> Bienville Exhibit

Bienville Exhibit

From The New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 24, 1970

 

Monumental prints by Ben Smith and sculptured ceramics by Paul Van Zandt are combined in a handsome exhibition now on display at the Bienville Gallery, 539 Bienville.

Smith's "Processional Figures" march in solemn majesty across the walls; they are larger than life and seem to have a kinship with all the shamans, druids, warlocks and other wizards who ever led their people to the now-forbidden rites.

The designs, which are carried out almost entirely in black and white enlivened by touches of dep red, are quite powerful; they draw inspiration from the broken reliefs found in long-buried palaces and have something of the same impact on the spectator.

Smith's much smaller etchings are beautiful things that carry one into the eerie world of surrealism.

Van Zandt's sculptured pots, where Pop art touches are superimposed on compact, basic shapes, are excellent foils for the prints.

This artist has a lively imagination and the inventiveness to experiment with various thypes of texture and media.

He is most successful, however, when he adheres to simple, almost unadorned form. A large, squat pot with a charred bamboo handle is an elemental thing; a huge jar with the incised cobra design is very fine as is another oversized covered pot.

The show will continue until May 30.