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THE ART GALLERIES

Beverly Hills

March 27, 1987|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Stephanie Weber's work has long been involved with soft things. Even as it grows larger, more brashly colored and takes on an expressionist tone, it suggests malleable material and forms in flux.

Her latest abstractions are collage-like paintings that allude to billowing cloth. A form resembling a big wad or a cascade of printed fabric often dominates while shapes that put one in mind of scraps of wallpaper or fuzzy cord play supporting roles in dynamic compositions that fill every inch of the picture frame.

The collaged look of the work is often the result of overlaying photo-silkscreened patterns on mylar, with loosely brushed acrylic applied front and back. As usual, the Bay Area artist's work is laudable for the competent, vigorous way she applies an Abstract Expressionist sensibility to contemporary materials and processes. A group of small works on paper are gems of energetic control.

Weber never seems to bite off more than she can chew, but her measured success suggests that she might cultivate a bigger appetite. Though she can't be accused of stagnating, she seems capable of more than we see. (Stella Polaris Gallery, 445 S. Beverly Drive, to Saturday.)

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