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The Galleries

May 27, 1988|CATHY CURTIS

Edith Baumann-Hudson is a Los Angeles artist who has chosen the stark and difficult path of geometric painting. This year she is lining up double tracks of horizontals on a canvas, inflecting her work solely by means of color and the number of pairs of bars. Pale avocado bars on white look rather casual and summery; brick-red bars on white have an almost logo-like corporate feel. A set of blue bars shout at the same decibel level as the yellow-over-blue ground they share. Red on black seems airless and oppressive.

These are very obvious effects. Maybe the paintings with even-numbered sets have a more decisive finish--like ending a piece of music on a dominant chord. Well, maybe not. Maybe the repetition of bars of equal thickness and length has the same satisfyingly rhythmic effect as the ties of railroad tracks. Maybe not.

Clearly, these paintings are compelled to ride on their blends and contrasts of color, aspects not sufficiently unusual or subtle to create a satisfying journey. (Newspace, 5241 Melrose Ave., to June 4.)

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