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Laguna Beach Artist's Wisps Slip Through One's Grasp

November 12, 1994|DAVID PAGEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LOS ANGELES — Angie Bray's wispy drawings, slight sculptures and nearly intangible kinetic devices at Sue Spaid Fine Art teeter on the precipice of insubstantiality. Meticulously made of eggshells, feathers, smoke, pins, lead and vellum, her works aspire to disappear into nothingness, like exhaled breaths on cold winter mornings or fond memories that vanish amid the pressures of everyday living.

This delicate territory is difficult to tread, like steering between the Scylla of invisibility and the Charybdis of insignificance. Unfortunately, Bray's fragile pieces are too straightforward and unambiguous to trigger the quivering, emotional responses they seem to beafter.

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The Laguna Beach artist's intentionally tenuous objects too closely resemble simplified versions of Rebecca Horn's double-edged sculptures. Where Horn's elaborate pieces of kinetic theater embrace dread and malignancy as well as light-handed elegance, Bray's works focus exclusively on the warm, touching side of experience. Often overly precious, her naive art doesn't account for the ambivalence with which desire, at its most captivating, is always charged.

* Sue Spaid Fine Art, 7454 1/2 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 935-6153, through Nov. 27. Closed Sunday through Tuesday.

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