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THE ART GALLERIES

La Cienega Area

June 20, 1986|WILLIAM WILSON

If forms of reductive sculpture could be cast as the Seven Dwarfs, the work of Robert Gober would be Dopey. He uses plaster to make forms that are virtual copies of old-fashioned white porcelain laundry sinks, sliced in half and otherwise recombined and hung in corners of walls or at floor or ceiling line.

Whatever formal properties might be broadcast by these works are entirely neutralized by their Duchampian associations. Gober works like a naive Dadaist, playing mind games with the viewer's knowledge of Duchamp's urinal and how pure and guileless his sinks are by comparison. The exhibition contains barely seven works and some shy little drawings. The installation is so sparse that the work looks lonesome and wistful, like the Maytag Man. The early work of Joe Goode wafts across the mind with its urchin milk bottles in the pastel light of dawn.

Gober's art is even more hermit-like and innocently obsessive. There is clearly a sensibility at play here but what appears remote finally begins to feel as coyly ingratiating as little white porcelain lambies. (Daniel Weinberg Gallery, 819 N. Almont Drive, to July 12.)

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