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Wilshire Center

December 11, 1987|CATHY CURTIS

Visions of Japan flicker through Les Biller's recent paintings. In "Insomnia," a black-outlined nude is menaced by a demonic bat, a sagging gray shrine and a lantern slice the space in vertical chunks like separate hanging scrolls. A passage of watery, brown-orange horizontal strokes suggests much-weathered brocade.

Hanging lanterns cling to tree branches like flattened gumdrops. Big black arches, a Madame Butterfly footbridge, the curve of a woman's arm, steering wheels in the sky are Biller's phantasmagoria of cliche and experience and dream.

He loses both allusive vision wiry delicacy in paintings of Western nudes that could have been turned out by any number of less subtle artists. (April Sgro Riddle Gallery, 834 N. La Brea Ave., to Jan. 9.)

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