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GALLERIES

La Cienega Area

June 23, 1989|SUVAN GEER

The scientific discovery that the universe is continuing to "bang" outward gives artists the fits just like every other mortal who senses his own demise as more than just an abstraction. "Unstable Universe," a current group show, addresses that abstraction and gives it a vivid pictorial grounding.

The exhibit uses paintings by several artists to create a kind of cosmic womb-to-tomb experience. To walk around the gallery is to snatch a series of ideas that leap time and space in carefully choreographed rapid bounds. In this context Jack Goldstein's rich red and yellow thermal throb becomes the big pulse of rippling life sent out into the blackness of space. That life, as pictured by Vernon Fisher, is a precariously balanced thing, ticking away like a planetary time bomb.

Indeed the oracles of doom are everywhere. They are under Robert Yarber's mythologic, cloud-swept skies and in Andy Moses' densely layered painting of microscopic proteins that mirror the happenstance of oil-and-water paint separation and planetary photos of stars going nova. They echo a dire warning across Ed Ruscha's fire colored sunset, "I Remember, to Forget, to Remember." Yet in John Murphy's star chart, "Fine Veils of Endurance (Horologium)," all that gloom seems at last overblown as his inky space shows the universe continuing despite one planet's demise. It's a curiously objective note to end on, but welcome after staring the inevitable in the eye.

Group shows organized around a theme are seldom this concise or this directed. With admirable restraint this one forgoes the opportunity to embellish the narrative with peripheral thoughts like exploring more of the artist's work, or the notion of assigning blame for the ultimate Armageddon. (Asher/Faure, 612 N. Almont Drive, to July 1).

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