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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

May 09, 1986|KRISTINE McKENNA

In his first solo exhibition, Tehran artist Behzad Haghiri shows eight large combine paintings that pair soft, geometric abstractions with rusted metal sculptures. Sometimes the sculptural component is attached to the painting, other times it's a free-floating satellite on the floor in the vicinity of the painting. The sculpture tends to echo elements in the paintings, which are frequently composed on a vertical grid; rounded, Arthur Dove-ish mounds swell out of the base of the picture plane.

Titled "Mystery and Accident," this show grew out of Haghiri's 12-year involvement with performance art, and like much work of that stripe, it's rather cryptic. Haghiri may be from Iran, but his severely modern paintings suggest that his CalArts schooling made more of an impression on him than the art of his homeland. In "Don't Wait for Godot," the blade of a large rusted knife is bolted to the side of a vertical rectangular canvas, bisecting it across the middle. "747" reads as an airplane wing silhouetted against a blue sky. A silver metal rod runs up the center of the wing shape and is attached with screws. A tiny tree stump sits on the floor at the base of the rod and a rusted metal strip leans against the wall next to the painting--which is obviously wide open to heavy-handed interpretation. (Irit Krygier, 7416 Beverly Blvd., to June 14.)

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