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The Art Galleries

Santa Monica

September 18, 1987|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Newest of the new in this seaside enclave is the Dorothy Goldeen Gallery. A San Francisco import, it has opened with necessities intact: spacious accommodations, a great location (just around the corner from the Colorado Boulevard group), an impressive stable of artists and a superior pair of exhibitions.

Sprawling out in the main gallery and foyer is an improbable array of Donald Lipski's sculpture, all made of materials scavenged from Boeing Aircraft in Seattle. One wall is filled with strange-looking objects that turn out to be combinations of saw blades, bunjy cord, anchor rings, buffing pads, hydrometers and other industrial wonders. Elsewhere a curved ladder connects with a fanned-out nose pad, yellow buoys hang from the ceiling and a red "firefighter" nozzle is affixed to a blackboard. Invited to work at Boeing during a teaching gig in the Northwest, Lipski has scooped up everything from safety glasses to time-card racks. Among the results: six metal toe guards merged in a handsome flower, a green sponge clamped between two iron hooks in a cool piece of symmetry, a triangular sling holding loose curls of purple wire as seductive as Rapunzel's hair.

There's a keen sense of design here, along with a cheeky flair. Earlier assemblages pointed out the influence of Joseph Beuys and a surprising emotional range within a Minimalist aesthetic. Now Lipski seems to have blossomed into bright colors and large scale while opening his work to student input. Cultivating his talent for transforming the mundane, he has taken Duchamp's "ready-mades" to a level of baroque celebration.

A smaller show of Nathan Oliveira's monoprints and bronze sculpture provides a contemplative counterpoint. Muted, warm and powerfully introspective, the Bay Area artist's prints (done in Italy) seem to speak of human intrusion into landscape and the fleeting nature of man-made structures. Equally affecting bronzes--two emaciated figures and a couple of beds of sensitively scored turf--perpetuate an infectious mood of regret. (Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, 1547 9th St., to Oct. 10.)

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