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AT THE GALLERIES / Robert McDonald

November 21, 1986|ROBERT MCDONALD

SAN DIEGO — Daniel Britton, a young artist who has been in town for a couple of years, has attracted favorable critical attention in the occasional group exhibits in which his works have appeared.

Along with a strong sense of structure, he has evinced a sophisticated color sense and a special appreciation for the creative possibilities of a variety of found materials. His work as an assistant to Italo Scanga, one of the most potent and imaginative artists working in this area, has doubtless influenced him--without, however, making him imitative.

Fifteen works now at Anuska Galerie (2400 Kettner Blvd.) demonstrate Britton's growing maturity as an artist. They also demonstrate his need for more rigorous editing.

Most of the works are vertical wood supports in two or three planes. Some include "found" venetian blinds. A complete palette of pigment in a complete repertoire of lyrical streaks and spatters mitigates the verticality of the structures while making them more expansive presences.

All the works have referential names, but few of them seem appropriate. The titles "The Burn" and "Burning Tree II" enhance the works. But "Fogbank" misses the mark. Fog generally creeps in on little cat feet horizontally, not vertically. It is a very luscious, even cloying, and busy painting whose prettiness is not congenial with the muscularity of Britton's other works.

Among these other works, "Totem II" and "Totem III," tall, slender forms wrapped in copper wire, are very beautiful and mysterious. But they need more space.

Works like "Tornado" and "Flexible" are distinctively extraneous and detract from the other works in this mixed show, which continues through Dec. 13.

The Thomas Babeor Gallery in La Jolla (7470 Girard Ave.) has a very beautiful exhibit of paintings by Italian artist Mimmo Paladino. The quality among them is consistently high and their installation expert.

Most of the works are watercolors on Japanese rice paper, an appropriate medium for the poetically evocative figurative images that seem to well up from the artist's subconscious. The larger works in dark earth tones with distressing images such as skulls and amputated bodies have an elegiac quality.

The show continues through Nov. 29.

The Art Corner Gallery of Standard Brands downtown (939 16th St.) continues to offer provocative experimental shows.

The gallery is exhibiting works by veteran artist William Gambini, several of them made as visual accompaniments to poems.

Gambini's works range through a variety of styles, from funky assemblage to pseudo-Picasso figurative elegance. There is much serious purpose here but to little effect. The artistic energy seems to spin out of control.

The exhibit continues through Nov. 30.

Spectrum Gallery (744 G St.) is offering two solo exhibits of playful works.

Mary Tomaskevitch's watercolors, entitled as a group "Pigs and People," doesn't compare pigs to people, or people to pigs. She doesn't portray people as pigs, and she doesn't portray pigs as people. She leaves it to viewers to make their own inferences.

Only one work features "Person With Pig."

The most beautiful work is a person, "Sara," a young woman sitting on a rock. No pig she.

Lorraine Krol-Alperson has created a festive ceramic environment entitled "A Little Vegas," with a wheel of fortune, blackjack table, slot machines and various entertainments and entertainers. It's a skillful and imaginative group of objects, but it's not art.

Both exhibits continue through Nov. 29.

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