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THE ART GALLERIES

The Valley

May 15, 1987|COLIN GARDNER

Jack Kleinberg returns to the local gallery scene with a series of figurative wood sculptures and paintings collectively titled "Venus With Her Jeans Around Her Knees and Other Works." The sculptural wrinkle here is an offbeat sense of compositional editing that transforms a series of rough-hewn, layered torsos, heads and limbs into a collection of fragmented parts, arranged on makeshift shelves like so many artifacts in storage. Once one gets beyond the initial gimmick of subverted classicism, however, one is left with somewhat inert, strangely academic studies that aspire to an old-fashioned expressionism.

The paintings are much less mannered, largely because Kleinberg infuses his nude dancers/models with a sense of kinetic rhythm that belies the formal rigidity of his composition. Rendered over six panels with different monochromatic backgrounds, the figures are supposed to integrate an essentially cubistic mise en scene , underlining the artifice of both process and representation itself. Unfortunately, this simple dialectic is far too easy to read and the work ends up falling victim to its innate conceptual and pictorial limitations. (Orlando Gallery, 14553 Ventura Blvd., to May 29.)

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