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THE ART GALLERIES

West Los Angeles

May 24, 1985|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Pamela Holmes' and Brad Wilson's joint exhibition is so all-of-a-piece that it could be the work of one artist. The strongest connecting fiber is a sort of earthiness that runs through lumpy forms, curving lines and muddy colors.

Holmes has made all the two-dimensional work--mostly multimedia paintings on paper, laminated to irregular wood panels--and a large floor piece that looks rather like a flattened, black canoe with a cargo of variously pierced, clay hemispheres. Her paintings usually depict mysterious, free-floating forms emerging from darkness--a greenish circle, a cosmos of silvery spots, an arc with chainlike loops lofting a sphere heavenward.

Wilson's work is sculpture, made of clay, sticks, cement, stones and moss. His pieces resemble mounds, altars, primitive houses, tools and utilitarian or ritual vessels. One of the most intriguing is a small blob with a black-hole interior; it's affixed to a wall next to a smudgy patch of soot that seems to bear the tracks of creatures who ventured into--or escaped from--its cavern. Other pieces are scattered about the floor, like remains of some forest civilization.

The exhibition is better than its parts, which seem to struggle under the burden of saying something that's simultaneously vague and significant. The artists have established their aesthetic territory. Now comes the hard part: refining it to the point of expressiveness. (Art Space, 10550 Santa Monica Blvd., to June 15.)

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