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The Galleries

West Los Angeles

November 06, 1987|CATHY CURTIS

Good collage is devastatingly subtle, but artists have a way of loading up on bric-a-brac until the images in their works cancel each other out. When Mary Schairer overdoes it, her stuff takes on the air of a lunatic art history slide exam, with pyramids to Picasso fragments intercut by quick views of landscapes and highways, animals and architectural details.

These collages are not simple-minded juxtapositions of modern crassness with natural glories or aesthetic monuments--unlikely visual rhymes and cleverly scissored-together shotgun marriages of opposites see to that. But the quirkier pieces that offer neither sweeping panoramas nor pronouncements look much fresher.

"Dance II," for example, offers a couple of whirling turbaned fellows from a Mughul miniature performing on photographed modern grass beneath a flock of mosaic birds sitting gravely in the air. In the foreground, huge pineapple-surfaced knobby objects tilt this way and that, like the Red Queen on a rampage. (Artspace, 10550 Santa Monica Blvd., to Nov. 28.)

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