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The Galleries

Wilshire Center

January 22, 1988|CATHY CURTIS

A lyrical abstraction by veteran New York painter Yvonne Thomas has a radiance reminiscent of Dove and Avery. It's "The Juggler"--with its shy white golf-tee flag, wet celery-colored stripes and its brave little black triangle crossing a scrubby rectangle of green.

Drifting passages of color and angular abutments in several canvases from the last couple of years, however, are fitful and unresolved. "After the Rain" veers too close to literal landscape and loses the delicately tentative edge that is Thomas' drawing card.

In Robert Bassler's recent pyramidal pieces, tediously circumscribed formats bog down their visionary quality. A tall pyramid of wood slats surrounded by open metal triangles offers a hollow, Minimalism-Shaker simplicity re-created in a cultural vacuum. A rusted steel framework of progressively larger pyramids baldly illustrates a geometrical rule.

Other pyramids are neatly wallpapered with NASA photographs of land forms on which the artist paints brushy cloud swirls or snowdrift archipelagoes. A chorus of painted metal pyramidal frameworks or a light snowdrift etching completes the package. (Wenger Gallery, 828 N. La Brea Ave., to Feb. 17.)

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