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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

May 08, 1987|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Nancy Youdelman had a good idea several years ago when she first flattened a piece of vintage clothing behind shattered glass, turning into an artwork that solidified feminine memory. The concept is still good, but it's difficult to find fresh revelations in recent manifestations of it. The latest installment mainly serves as a reminder that Youdelman is a talented artist of a poetic sensibility.

Her current clothes closet consists of dresses, bodices, a skirt and a slip. A real garment serves as the foundation of each wall piece, but she obscures it with an overlay of other materials and preserves the whole behind glass or in glue. One short-sleeved party dress is covered with a confetti of photo fragments, another with curling brown leaves. A polka dot number is overlaid with strips of snapshots, while the green silk slip is strewn with peach colored cloth flowers.

Among the gentlest art to arise from the feminist movement, Youdelman's work only gets gummed up when glue or bubbly white rhoplex gives it a nasty, plastic appearance. Her familiar idea works best when shattered glass encases Victorian clothing in an image of nostalgic fragility. (Ovsey Gallery, 126 N. La Brea Ave., to May 30.

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