Jim Ritchie, who lives in Venice, in the South of France, appears to be stuck in a time warp. He turns out marble and bronze sculptures of bland, graceful cubist figures with titles like "Dancing," "Cubist Torso" and "Juggler." Some of these pieces are available in marble or bronze--a collector-friendly freedom of choice that casts doubts on the artist's interest in the intrinsic qualities of his materials.
He also carves bits of bone he finds by the sea into small figurative pieces reminiscent of Picasso's gnarled figures of the '30s. It seems typical of Ritchie's enervated, at-arm's-length approach to art that the bone pieces are merely maquettes and, as such, are not trotted out for public viewing. Shielded from such raw stuff, viewers are presented instead with polite bronze casts of the figures, tiny or table-top-sized. But of course marble and bronze are the pre-eminent serious and traditional materials of sculpture, and this is the kind of work that appeals to the collector looking for a piece that will blend as invisibly into its setting as a good butler. (Feingarten Gallery, 8380 Melrose Ave., to July 1.)