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THE ART GALLERIES

Santa Monica

September 25, 1987|Colin Gardner

David Trowbridge's recent "Psalm" pieces involve a grafting of several elements: near-abstract landscape painting in a range of painterly styles, flat-surfaced solid-color panels and a vertically oriented hunk of wood.

An aura of intense seriousness accompanies all of this, but the result is diffuse and gimmicky. Wood pieces seem to originate in a desperate anxiety to thrust a real piece of nature at the viewer rather than in a contextual need for three-dimensional imagery.

There's more spice, less straining in the small-sized "Psalm No. 73," which incorporates a piece of wood that resembles a mask in profile, its outline echoed faintly in the mossy greens and blues of the adjoining canvas.

Forced into back-seat status by ambitions of creating multiple layers of space, there's another, much more vital aspect of Trowbridge's approach that reads nature as an unfolding series of patterns in paint. (Angles Gallery, 2230 Main St., to Oct. 17.)

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