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THE GALLERIES

La Cienega Area

January 25, 1985|MARLENA DONOHUE

British artist Patrick Morrison shows paintings and drawings whose style is as diverse as his background: Morrison was born in Ireland, was reared in London and moved to California about 20 years ago. The downtown Los Angeles-inspired cityscapes, street scenes and portraits share a characteristically English knack for taking representational images through degrees of abstraction, Hockney's swimmers being a case in point.

For Morrison, though, the process seems directed not by some logical progression from realistic to simplified forms, but by gut intuition. The result is that works skip and jump stylistically.

An interior scene calls up the still focus of Fairfield Porter. Several nudes employ the ferocious distortions of De Kooning. The drawings belie a consolidated aesthetic and technical skill. "Street Corner by Night" and "Still Life With Diablos" capitalize on compacted space and dramatic lighting to capture a certain psychic tension associated with Morrison's urban themes. (Bernard Jacobson, 8364 Melrose Ave., to Feb. 15.)

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