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The Galleries

Wilshire Center

October 30, 1987|MARLENA DONOHUE

Roger Boyce shows new wall constructions that are variations on an old theme. Using plywood, the artist shapes an external contour to look like dozens of bricks jutting out into the gallery wall and piling on top of one another. He then fills in the rest of the construction with similar multicolored cubes and rectangles painted in trick-the-eye fashion to look as if they recede and jut, coil and heave in jumbled masses.

Some years back Boyce started out making cut-out wrestlers, gradually replacing the human shapes with boxlike creatures that acted out all manner of attractions and antagonisms. The abstract cubes used in recent works were adopted supposedly because they captured these existential tugs-of- war in a context free of language, race, culture or gender. The idea sounds good, but the works struggle to hold our attention. Boyce's grayed autumnal coloration doesn't help, and although "Backwash" seems indeed propelled by a gust of wind and "Meander" does exactly that, this is not Boyce at his most dynamic. (Ovsey Gallery, 126 N. La Brea Ave., to Nov. 14.)

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