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THE ART GALLERIES

Santa Monica

October 23, 1987|CATHY CURTIS

Refitting miscellaneous old objects to contain new poetry is a tricky job. Most of Jacqueline Dreager's recent sculptures speak a guarded, private language on the tantalizing edge of decipherability. Others are pure and simple, sometimes self-consciously so.

"Coastal Disturbance" is a long, paint-flaked pole leaning against the wall and topped with a pale, curving umbrella handle-like "beak" and a stiff protrusion like stuck-together paintbrush bristles. A sharply pointed remnant of dull-finished metal sets off these elements with the elegant severity of a stiff medieval collar.

In "Blondie," a sturdy, upended length of wide ridged metal pipe (sitting on the floor like piled tin cans) supports a wood pole in which a slender copper rod is partly buried. On the wall, a convex round ship's window sits on a distressed and ragged piece of wood-patterned fiberglass. Nautical associations--spar and beacon, battering and capsizing--seem apropos. (Shoshana Wayne Gallery, 1454 5th St., to Nov. 11.)

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