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THE ART GALLERIES

La Cienega Area

April 04, 1986|KRISTINE McKENNA

Inch for inch, there's a lot of flesh in Alan Oppenheimer's paintings of nude women. Combining the flat, frontal quality of Manet with Renoir's sun-dappled palette, Oppenheimer positions and crops his subjects in such a way that their soft, spreading bodies threaten to completely engulf the picture plane.

Solitary figures lost in thought, his women seem fraught with the tension that assails one when forced to wait, be it for the return of a lover, the courage to act or for life to begin. "Absence of Rainbow" finds a damsel in a green meadow roughly rubbing her eye with the heel of her hand, while "Uncertain Hour" depicts a woman sitting in bed, pensively holding a cup of coffee. Luscious curves abound in Oppenheimer's paintings but sensuality is upstaged by a palpable climate of uncertainty and ambivalence. (Jeffrey Linden Gallery, 625 N. Almont Drive, to April 19.)

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