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The Galleries

La Cienega Area

February 19, 1988|MARLENA DONOHUE

The most provocative and snappy entry in a trio show comes in the form of mixed-media paintings by Kevin Larmon. He begins with several well modulated underlayers of paint littered with barely visible appropriated images from art and popular culture. These peek through a final thick layer of buff-colored pigment that rises and lumps like one of those three-dimensional topographical maps at the natural history museum. Quasi-scientific markings turn pieces into fanciful free associations meshing art history with social history, social history with personal rumination.

New Yorker Michael Zwack shows a few subtly hued pigment on oil paper abstractions suggesting shadows cast by dense tree foliage. Zwack controls an unusual combination of media to achieve the light, translucent touch of watercolor on rice paper, but the works still stop at the decorative.

Mark Innerst makes loosely rendered watercolors depicting the sweeping so-called "quadratura" perspectives and encrusted architectural moldings of illusionistic Baroque ceilings. Even in the 6-inch format of these tiny works we can make out illusionistic medallions with twisting and posturing figures. For all the histrionic pizazz of the real thing, Innerst's sepia-toned take on the Baroque is lukewarm. He switches tracks drastically in two flat, graphically inspired views of contemporary construction cranes in high keyed primary colors. Twentieth-Century cityscape doesn't fare much better than the 17th-Century church. (Michael Kohn Gallery, 313 N. Robertson Blvd., to Feb. 28.)

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