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West Los Angeles

December 25, 1987|MARLENA DONOHUE

In paintings, collages and bas reliefs built from dense receding layers of Xeroxed corrugated cardboard, Susan Genelin shows an interest in duplicated images. Her concern with repetition is not Post-Modern but philosophical and eastern, toying with the Buddhist notion that it's hard to tell reality from illusion, the dream from the dreamer. There's a lot--perhaps too much--happening in these works, but they are accomplished, dense and intriguing.

"Sisters" pits a foreground of '50s magazine ad versions of femininity against a background of life-like women distorted by hopeless ennui. Genelin's bas reliefs are vertically ascending masses of cut cardboard piled to the point of confusion with Xeroxed and collaged views of underwater life, tiered Buddhist temples, European cathedrals, children's arms gesturing up at malevolent and benign gods. In "The Opening," Genelin shows that her fascination with physical layers and repeating scenes has to do with social facades and the idea that while we schmooze and tip our glasses, our realities remain separate.

Also on view are David Pennington's tight mathematical "shields" built from tiny bits of brightly colored canvas. When they work, the calculated constructions look like big talismans or American Indian emblems. They are more often static and cute when compared to spooky collages of appropriated images that Pennington also exhibits. (Art Space, 10550 Santa Monica Blvd., to Jan. 9.)

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