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West Los Angeles

December 25, 1987|CATHY CURTIS

Like an abstract version of Salvador Dali, Spanish painter Antoni Tapies has packaged himself into commodity status. If you like dramatic drips and splatters and scribbled numbers tossed out with a heavy-handed braggadocio, you'll love Tapies' thickly embossed etchings from his "Poig i negre" suite, with their oh-so-artistic tantrums in black and red.

Vintage Tapies paintings offer a grave, gritty feel for the look and texture of peeling doorways and graffitied walls in dusty Spanish towns. But this approach hardens into cliche in prints from the '70s and '80s. Even in a recent painting, "Noir sur gris," the wide-brush black strokes on the sandpaper-finish gray background look like an exercise copied dutifully from past inspirations. (Galeria Joan Prats, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., to Jan. 24.)

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