Gayle J. Novak is an Arizona-based abstract painter who draws upon western landscape motifs to create kinetic, interwoven patchworks of color. Agglomerations of Pointillist dots, Fauve-like daubs and layered color fields overlap, interweave and ricochet off each other like some frenetically choreographed Modernist dance.
Novak is skillful but stuck in a backwater of painterly deja vu. Old Modernist strategies are trotted out, put through their paces, then tied together in a decorative package.
Like many "pure" painters, Novak seems to be working on the assumption that reworking old Modernist tricks with sufficient energy will somehow stave off any questioning of the tricks themselves. (Wade Gallery, 750 N. La Cienega Blvd., to Jan. 2.)