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Art Reviews

May 10, 1991|WILLIAM WILSON

Monster Expression: Irish painter Patrick Graham appears with glum romantic works that have one foot in British monster art of the '50s and the other in recent Neo-Expressionism. "Stations of the Heart" is fairly typical. It's a tattered gray triptych with the words, "Goodby Dear Heart" cut out of grimy canvas. Inset with a bleeding heart and scraps of gold, it seems to link real romance with Catholic guilt.

"The Ark of Dreaming" is stitched together like an Alberto Burri from 30 years ago. "The Man" is rather too Baconesque but very well painted with the image obscured by nervous "X" marks. "Draught" is a small black-and-white image of a chalice and coffin that has some of the gritty power of Anselm Kiefer.

Wall labels are rather too aggressive and full of blarney. One of them tells of Graham's discovery of the great German expressionist Emil Nolde. Evidently Graham didn't quite get the message. To get away with this kind of heavy-handedness you paint very well all the time.

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave.; to June 29.

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