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The Galleries

Wilshire Center

June 30, 1989|MARLENA DONOHUE

Painter Robin Ryan shows large acrylic-on-aper portraits that look like life embellished by imagination. Huge, sketchy faces and seated nudes such as "He Sits, He Waits" take up most of the picture space and look like shadows embedded behind a colorful gridding. Ryan uses half-inch tape to create a neat field of vertical and horizontal cross hatching, then peels away tape and fills in the resulting little squares with variegated color that makes the huge countenance in "Cold Streak" look as if it coalesces from many small pockets of pigment. She also shows computer-generated faces or digital paintings limned directly on the computer screen, then transferred to an enlarged, paper-printed format. What draws our attention here is the uniqueness of Ryan's techniques; the amateurish imagery itself--except for the electric eroticism of "The Lovers"--fails to hold our attention. (Ivey/Kaufman Gallery, 154 N. La Brea Ave., to July 22.)

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