Pavel Machotka

Artweek, August 5, 1993

Through July 31 at Campbell Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco

Unpretentious, if out of Cézanne's back pocket in palette, brushwork and subject material, Pavel Machotka's salon-sized oils are original in their sincere appreciation of landscape beauty. House and Road--Tuscany gleans some overweeing sentiment from the distressed look of affected underpainting, although structured brush strokes respect the shapes of firm composition. Occasional use of darkened outlines in Forked Trees--Tuscany reveal an interest in contour that leads the artist away from the great master of mass to the doorstep of Derain. Exposure to California seems to have loosened his brushwork and raised his shape-consciousness, for Natural Bridges Drive shows a clear direction toward pictorial definition and tone contrast. Machotka is a solid composer and an engaged interpreter of the scene before him, overly susceptible to influence, perhaps, but he has chosen precedents that will do this impulse no harm.