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THE ART GALLERIES

Wilshire Center

June 12, 1987|KRISTINE McKENNA

Frank Stella meets Stuart Davis in explosive mixed-media jamborees by Stephen Grossman. Employing every color in the Crayola box, Grossman's wall constructions can be read as metaphors for complex philosophical inquiries (quotations from Kant and Protagoras are scribbled on small studies, along with phrases such as "rotational logic"), but any theory lurking behind this work is invariably upstaged by the ambitious process Grossman employs.

His work looks as though it demands lots of measuring, cutting and nailing. Like unfinished buildings encased in scaffolding, the pieces seem incomplete and open to change; this is a quality Grossman intends, believing that "a painting should have en edge of non-resolution that points towards further possibilities." Like Tinker Toy modern art kits, his work looks as though it could be taken apart, scrambled up and reassembled and still add up to the same thing. Whether or not that's a problem is for Grossman to decide. (Jan Baum Gallery, 170 La Brea Ave., to June 30.)

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