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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

November 21, 1986|KRISTINE McKENNA

From the attic of art history comes Mildred Bruce Scofield, a painter whose grandparents left Kansas for the gold fields of the West in 1865. That pioneer blood combined with a girlhood spent on botanical field trips--Scofield's liberated mom was a botanist--produced an artist at once rugged and elegant. Mostly elegant. This is very much the work of a lady of breeding. Scofield's paintings--still lifes, floral studies, landscapes and portraits--are awash in muted golden light evocative of Zurbaran. Though her smaller floral studies tend to get a bit fussy, Scofield's portraits are lovely indeed. The dark-skinned maiden with braided hair in "Young Girl with Blue Ribbons" is pretty enough to adorn the label on a crate of Indio dates, and "Woman With a Turban" depicts an inscrutable beauty worthy of Gauguin. Scofield, who died in 1983 at the ripe age of 94, led the life of an artist in California when it truly was a kind of paradise, and her beautifully serene work reflects her good fortune. (Gallery 170, 170 S. La Brea Ave., to Nov 29.)

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