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THE ART GALLERIES

West Los Angeles

September 25, 1987|MARLENA DONOHUE

Longtime Los Angeles assemblagist Janice Lowry builds a dozen or so glass-encased concoctions that look as if they may have been culled from grandma's sewing basket. Aged measuring tapes, rusted scissor parts, rhinestone baubles and tacky plastic toys transmit chaotic references to once unquestioned cultural formulas like "Meet Mr. Right and live happily ever after." In these boxes human relationships are ill defined, men are delicate little cut-out paper dandies and women seem represented by fragments of old dolls attached in a dissociated fashion. Lowry still suffers badly from overcrowded works and insufficient editing, but she makes surprisingly effective tokens of the combination of nostalgia and liberation that is part of women's post-feminist lot. (Art Space Gallery, 10550 Santa Monica Blvd., to Oct. 17.)

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