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THE ART GALLERIES

Beverly Hills

June 06, 1986|KRISTINE McKENNA

Like Manny Farber, Santa Barbara artist Patrick McClure has a scrapbook sensibility. A collector/organizer of all manner of stuff, he makes pictures that feel like a rummage through the junk drawer of the mind.

Including work dating back to 1979, this show leaves one worried for the artist's sanity, to say nothing of his eyesight; any one of these overwhelmingly busy mixed-media works might have taken seven years to complete. McClure has an obsession with detail peculiar to miniaturists and his kaleidoscopic pictures are so packed with itsy-bitsy pieces that they're like visual marzipan--a little goes a long way.

McClure has an architectural sense of shape. His works are composed of from one to eight modular components of varying dimension that are fitted together like pieces of a puzzle. Marbled with golden lines and elaborate patterning, the smaller works put one in mind of illuminated manuscripts while larger pieces read as Byzantine altarpieces. A massive number, titled "Four Corners of the World," resembles a chart from an ancient text on astronomy.

Mind you, this is all taking the long view of the work; closer examination reveals a rather treacly aesthetic at work. Ideas concerning time are a central theme for McClure and his work is shot through with nostalgic imagery--antique post cards, holiday souvenirs--all perfectly rendered in colors that have been muted to suggest the passage of time. At this point the work begins1953439860

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