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THE ART GALLERIES

La Cienega Area

March 13, 1987|KRISTINE MCKENNA

A current of clear, strong energy courses through paintings by Judith Murray. Anthropomorphic abstractions built around Jungian shapes freighted with inexplicable meaning, they're startlingly handsome pictures. Advancing shapes pulsate with light as they pierce the enveloping darkness; Murray describes them as "abstract metaphors," and they are eloquent metaphors indeed for the struggle toward consciousness.

Resolved in a manner reminiscent of Kandinsky, Murray's paintings are precise without being rigid, and aglow with a luminous patina achieved through numerous layers of underpainting. Using just four colors--red, white, black and ocher--she invests her work with variations and subtleties that belie that limited palette. Murray uses color like an alchemist and her pictures are powdered with the dust of white magic.

Also on view is graphic work by 14 contemporary artists published by Joe Fawbush Editions. (Jan Turner Gallery, 8000 Melrose Ave., to March 28.)

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