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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

May 17, 1985|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Constructivism bumps its hoary head against playful origami in Trevor Norris' enamel-on-metal paintings and emerges with a new-wave hairdo. It's as if the artist had shaken up the crisp geometric shapes of his predecessors, roughed up their surfaces, scraped patterns into them and folded back edges to make sprightly, vivid-hued abstractions.

Fashioned into irregular squares or tall rectangles with triangular tabs and unfolding appendages, Norris' relief paintings tell the history of their making--and their relationship to process art. You see the journey of a neat square or rectangle of sheet metal as it is cut, folded and painted into jaunty urban artworks. Their surfaces subdivide into smaller shapes, giving the compositions the look of aerial city views. Bright enamels suggest auto bodies and other industrially painted objects.

This is exuberant, youthful looking art that appears to have emerged from a blitz of activity. The only worrisome thing about it is that its high spirits mask the impending threat of a formula. (Jan Baum Gallery, 170 S. La Brea Ave., to May 31.)

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