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The Art Galleries

Hollywood

September 18, 1987|MARLENA DONOHUE

Minoru Ohira was born in Japan, moved to Mexico in the late '70s and to Los Angeles not long ago. One can almost trace his itinerary on the face of sculptures wrought from arrangements of wood bits (gathered from highways), twine and shards of grayish shale. The work is meditative in the strictest Eastern sense--each piece must have thousands of tiny sticks arranged into tight, undulating fields. The work gives a mud-and-mortar feel to shapes that look like pre-Columbian shelters, boats or fetish objects, and it has all the attenuated elegance of L.A.'s most popular collector art.

Ohira is convincingly primitive in the delicate pod of twine and twigs called "Nacimiento" (Birth), but his real forte lies in pieces like "Tortuga No. 2," where pattern and structure seem to emanate from an intrinsic rather than a cosmopolitan intelligence. (Space, 6015 Santa Monica Blvd., to Oct. 17.)

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