George Page's constructions attempt to fuse elements of painting, sculpture and architecture in order to create a tension between the intuitive gesture of Expressionism and the rational geometry of linear forms in space. This conflict has become something of a staple since the heyday of the New York School, as artists struggle to synthesize the feverish transcendence of action painting with the formal purism of modernist abstraction.
Post-Modernism's answer has been to accept this pluralism as inevitable and promulgate parallel simultaneities as a virtue. Page, in contrast, seems to be more interested in the process itself, in reaching for the sublime through an undefinable blurring of forethought and spontaneity. Unfortunately, the results belie his own best intentions.
Both Page's free-standing totemic pillars, and wall reliefs that combine latticelike columns with roughly hewn, painted panels, seem repetitive and formulaic, as if all the component parts were equally interchangeable. This might not have been such a problem if Page had shown better facility as a painter, but his use of color fields to reinforce structure diffuses tension instead of tightening it, and the bombastic nature of his brush strokes seems self-indulgent and ancillary. (Ruth Bachofner, 804 N. La Cienega Blvd., to Nov. 1.)