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Playing Off Each Other : An eclectic mix of 39 sculptures is at Artspace Gallery as part of the '1993 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition.'

July 30, 1993|NANCY KAPITANOFF | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Nancy Kapitanoff writes regularly about art for The Times

Contemporary sculptors rarely bring the precise figurative beauty of bronze or stone classical sculptures to their work. They seem to see no limits to the materials they can use, the forms and images they can create or the non-classical ideas they can convey.

At Artspace Gallery in Woodland Hills, an eclectic mix of 39 sculptures is on view as part of the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department's "1993 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition."

To provide venues for Southern California artists to show their work, the department organized this citywide show, which takes place at six city-run centers. Each center is presenting work in a particular medium.

Paintings are on display at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park. At the Junior Arts Gallery next door, there are works on paper. One can find prints at the Watts Towers Arts Center, and mixed-media and assemblage pieces at the William Grant Still Arts Center in the Mid-City district. McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga is showing textiles and fiber art.

The work in each exhibit was selected by an individual juror. The sculpture at Artspace was chosen by independent curator Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins.

"There are a lot of pieces that play off nicely against each other," gallery curator Scott Canty said. "There are works that deal with the human form and works that are abstract, but there's a camaraderie of materials, natural materials. There's an organic look to the show."

Many of the sculptures seem to tell several stories simultaneously. "You've got to think when you come in here," gallery installer Michael Bell said.

Diana Kunce's roughly textured cement figure, "Dry," lacks a head and the bottom half of one leg. One might recall ancient sculptures found in archeological digs, or see in it the victims of war. Yossi Govrin's "Angel With One Wing" is missing a wing, but that's not the only uncommon aspect of this celestial creation. This version is, albeit abstract, an anatomically correct male angel.

Patrick Ellis combined an old sled with an old suitcase that sports a small insignia-like image containing the phrase, "This Is My Father's World." Does this piece represent warm feelings of nostalgia, or is it a statement declaring his father's realm hopelessly anachronistic?

Dreams form the basis for sensitive pieces by Karena Massengill and Elaine Fuess. Massengill presents two ethnic faces attached to wood branches that imply a tree of life in her floor piece, "Dreaming Rebirth." Fuess' small, boxlike ceramic wall-hanging, "Dreams of Destiny," has captured a bird and some dried rose petals. But the book it contains is open, and the pages are turning.

Using cardboard and butcher paper for her installation, Hina Fagu transforms the typical suburban family living room into a box-like structure. "Living in a Box" comes with a seven-layer cardboard cake and a cardboard clock that works. Although the installation seems to comment on suburban living, her intent is to also stimulate discussion about the issue of homelessness, she said.

Cynthia Phillips has produced small bronze versions of three styles of chairs, exploring external expressions of internal states of mind in "Too Emotional, Too Personal, Too Sensitive." Elizabeth Tangeman delves into matters of the heart in "Looking In, Looking Out." A ceramic female chest displays a window-like structure in the heart area; through it, we see what looks like broken glass. Liz Atlas takes a more abstract view of balance and imbalance, positive and negative space in her geometric wood and mixed-media floor piece, "She's a Rocker."

Other artists represented in the show are Paul Betouliere, David Bialobroda, John Biggs, Cletus Blum, Caterina Dellavalle, Lyla Fernandes-Paakkanen, Stephen Freedman, Anton Greene, Davina Grunstein, Elaine Kimura, E. Krown Klein, Krista K, Sydna Lattemann, Richard McLaughlin, Harold Nathan, Christopher Piazza, Katrina Rahn, Charna Rickey, Joyce Roetter, Christa Schmidt, Matthew Shapiro, Norman Sherfield, Dean Smith, Douglas Spaulding, Jennifer Tampas, Joy Taylor, Jana Wells, Jean Wolff, Penelope Young and Colin Zaug.


What: Sculpture.

Location: Artspace Gallery, 21800 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills.

Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Aug. 28; Family Fun Day: Aug. 28 at 1:30 p.m. Call gallery for reservations.

Call: (818) 716-2786.

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