You'd have to be some kind of snarling gorilla to find fault with Shigeo Miura's art. It's so modest, so free of visual toxins, so tofu-like. Austere sculpture and painting involving wood, carbon powder and paper, Miura's elegantly simple work conforms to preconceived notions about the contemporary Oriental aesthetic sensibility. As in clothing by avant-garde couturier Comme des Garcons, his style employs a minimum of color and places the emphasis on texture and line.
Miura works in three different modes, each of which whispers that perhaps we might find it of interest to take notice of the details that render all things unique unto themselves. The surfaces of his paintings appear to be composed of carefully torn paper towels fitted together to form a grid, and the same rice-papery surface can be seen in his sculpture, some of which is quite whimsical.
We see, for instance, a structure resembling a highly implausible chair, seat low to the ground and a back so tall as to be completely out of kilter. Next to the chair stands a woozy-looking table with two of four legs shortened so that it appears to be leaning, like a drunk. The bulk of his sculptural work, however, involves slats of rough wood fitted together and shaped into arcs, semicircles and squares. Natural knots in the wood are often left intact and one imagines that this stuff is an inquiry into ideas concerning integrity of materials and positive/negative space. (Art Space, 10550 Santa Monica Blvd., to March 15.)