While moonlighting from his career as one of Hollywood's best-known character actors, Sterling Holloway amassed a noteworthy collection of contemporary art. Failing health now forces Holloway to sell his collection and it is being parceled out piecemeal. (The collection is at the Asher/Faure Gallery, 612 N. Almont Drive, to Sept. 13).
A number of these works are of museum quality and it's unfortunate that they're soon to disappear yet again into private collections. One would think a local art institution might have come forth and purchased the entire collection but, oddly enough, no such offer materialized. The fate of Holloways's labor of love is hardly an encouragement to budding collectors.
Holloway has an eye for small, classy pieces with traces of irreverent humor that lends them sparkle and glamour. He likes color and he likes his art moderately aggressive, but never assaultive. Coincidentally or not, this selection includes no art by women, focusing instead on the West coast bad boy artists of the '60s. Ken Price, Joe Goode, Ed Kienholz and Billy Al Bengston in particular are all well represented. Five small Bengstons from the early '60s have a winsome sweetness one doesn't see so often in his later pieces. Works by Altoon, Kienholz and Foulkes lend the collection a somber streak, while Oldenburg, Lichtenstein and Roy De Forest get the folks laughing again. Also on view are cherry pieces by John McLaughlin and John McCracken.