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Robert Morris Works Focus On Environment

April 27, 1986|JOSINE IANCO-STARRELS

"Robert Morris: Works of the Eighties" opens at the Newport Harbor Art Museum on Friday and continues to June 29. The exhibition, co-organized by museum curator Paul Schimmel and Mary Jane Jacob, curator of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, consists of 23 sculptural reliefs and drawings from 1982 to the present.

Morris' apocalyptic imagery addresses such issues as survival and the delicate balance between creation and destruction.

"A sense of doom has gathered on the horizon of our perceptions and grows every day. (It is linked to) returning nightmares of nuclear war," Morris wrote in 1981.

When first shown in exhibitions at the Sonnabend and Leo Castelli Galleries in New York, Morris' works of the '80s received enormous critical and popular attention.Sculptural elements in the works' frames--thrusting fists, skulls, ropes, human organs--cluster around an atmospheric conflagration represented in the central drawings.

Morris was born in Kansas City in 1931. Between 1948 and 1950, he studied engineering at the University of Kansas and art at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1951 he was a student at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). He interrupted his studies in 1951-52 to serve with the U.S. Army in Arizona and Korea. He subsequently studied at Reed College, from 1953 to 1955, and later moved to San Francisco, where he painted and explored film and improvisational theater.

His first exhibition of paintings was held in 1957 at the Dilexi Gallery in San Francisco. After moving to New York City in 1961 to study sculpture, he received a master's degree in 1963 from Hunter College followed, in 1963, by his first New York exhibition at the Green Gallery.

A major catalogue with essays by Edward Fry and Donald Kuspit, along with contributions by I. Michael Denoff and curators Jacob and Schimmel, was co-published by both museums.

The Decorative Arts Council of the County Museum of Art presents a "collector's weekend" featuring a symposium titled "The Collector's Dilemma: A Find or a Forgery?" on Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the museum's Bing Theater. An "Heirloom Discovery Day" will be held next Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Pacific Design Center.

The symposium is designed to offer assistance in differentiating between authentic antiques, over-restorations, reproductions and forgeries. Four experts will discusss furniture, silver, ceramics and glass, including judging the appearance of an object, recognizing suitable and unsuitable manufacturing techniques and understanding the role of the marketplace.

On "Heirloom Discovery Day," four experts from the auction and appraisal departments of Sotheby's will be available to look at objects and give verbal identification and appraisal. Photographs can be submitted for large objects. Their expertise is in decorative arts, painting, prints, Oriental art and jewelry. Information: (213) 857-6041.

A group exhibition of works by 18 California artists, titled "Kindred Spirits," will be at the Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park Tuesday through June 1.

Works in the exhibition are clustered into eight groups, each containing pieces that share an affinity of image, idea or attitude. Works in each group are in different media, stressing the primary importance of the art's essential character rather than its material similarities.

Artists participating in the show are: Mari Andrews, Lewis Baltz, Larry Bell, Luis Bermudez, Shirley Bleviss, Deanna deMayo, Daniel Douke, John Frame, Karl Gernot Kuehn, Linsley Lambert, Peter Levinson, Helen Lundeberg, John McLaughlin, Leland Rice, Richard Shaw, Joyce Treiman, Janet Tholen and Sam Wilson. Information: (213) 485-4581.

Sculptor Mineo Mizuno's studio was recently burglarized. In addition to stealing the usual easy-to-hock appliances, the thieves took the entire contents of the artist's last exhibition: 50 pieces valued at a total of $65,000. Mizuno says this represents more than six months of work, which was not insured. Losses included works sold during the exhibition and not yet delivered to buyers. Anyone having information regarding this matter is asked to contact the artist's dealer, Jan Turner Gallery, at (213) 658-6084. Photographs are available for identification purposes.

The donation of a comprehensive, 8,000-item Zeiss camera collection has tripled the size of the California Museum of Photography's technology holdings.

The UC Riverside museum's collection of 12,000 cameras and accessories tracing the technical history of photography is the largest of its kind on the West Coast.

According to museum director Charles Desmarais, "Only the collections of the George Eastman House and the Smithsonian Institution are larger or more significant." Among items included in this recent gift are examples of every camera made by Zeiss Ikon. The collection was established 14 years ago and donated to the museum by Mead Kibbey of Sacramento, a founder and treasurer of the Zeiss Historical Society.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art will purchase a renowned Greek statue considered one of the most important antiquities ever acquired by an American museum, announced Alan Shestack, director of the institute.

The "Doryphoros," a 1st-Century BC marble statue of a nude spear-bearer, is considered by experts to be the finest existing version of a famed earlier bronze "Doryphoros" made in 440 BC by the Greek artist Polykleitos. Priced at about $2.5 million, the "Doryphoros" is the most expensive single purchase by the museum in its 70-year history.

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