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Wilshire Center

December 18, 1987|SUZANNE MUCHNIC

Donald Davis' drawings of ethereal forms suggest what he's after in his earthbound sculpture: a weightless presence that soars into the imagination as a blend of ancient ruin and natural phenomena. When he draws a "Wedge" or "Wave Scape," the Santa Barbara artist presents a pure idea that seems to float in space, but his stone sculptures--displayed on pedestals--tend to be material-conscious and fussy. Working in red, white and black Italian marble, Davis sticks to three motifs: stepped wedges, ruffled furls and post-and-lintel portals--and combinations of them. In "Rocking Red," an undulating white form rises from steps on a red triangle. "Anasazi," with a rough chunk of marble bridging a pair of columns, could be a crumbling doorway, while "Porta Rosa" perches the stepped-interlocked motif atop a low-slung doorway. Unfortunately, most of these works have the look of clever arrangements, willfully textured and calculated to resemble historic architecture. The simpler idea of "Terra Nova" works better. This stepped wedge with fluted sides and a triangular footprint may not inspire, but at least it doesn't get bogged down in details. (Wenger Gallery, 828 N. La Brea Ave., to Jan. 7.)

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