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The Galleries

Santa Monica

February 12, 1988|WILLIAM WILSON

Briton Eric Scott shows here as part of the UK/LA festival. Though in his mid-40s, Scott paints like a young guy still trying to sort himself out. He combines ropy Photo-Realist images with Pop icons, as in "Brother" where a collapsed man cradled in a woman's arms lays conveniently in front of a Lichtenstein girl whose cartoon balloon says, "Maybe he became ill and couldn't leave the studio."

Scott's art is a stew of feelings and attitudes ranging from moralistic sarcasm to a bemused fascination with paradox. He shows an artist in hiker's gear in front of a paint-by-numbers landscape. He poses an African princess in National Geographic photo style next to a copy of a Picasso woman as if trying to sort out clashing forms of primitivism. The art is so conventional in its skills, it seems more like illustration for notions about art than art itself. At its most sympathetic it reminds us of those days when we think we have lived a long time without learning a damn thing. (Merging One Gallery, 1547 6th St., to March 5.)

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