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Art Review

April 24, 1998|LEAH OLLMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Order and Chance: Dennis Hollingsworth's work draws acute attention to process--not just the process of its own creation, but also the means by which we conduct our lives. Both life and art take shape through the balance of spontaneity and control, instinct and reason. Hollingsworth refers to that polarity in a luminous, attractive series of monoprints on view at Cirrus Gallery, called "Hearts and Minds."

Two basic components occupy the shallow space of the prints: bulbous, ovoid shapes and vertical stripes. The bulbous forms suggest squid or balloons, but primarily hearts that extrude tangles of arteries and veins, and symbolize the source of all emotion. The vertical or nearly vertical lines vary in width and, according to the schema suggested by Hollingsworth, represent reason and intellect, the order of the mind.

These are Hollingsworth's first prints, and they draw upon some of the techniques used in his paintings, especially the use of gravity--here, the dripping of viscous ink and the spreading of the ink by the weight of the press. Chance and control perform a continuous dance.

Hollingsworth resists casting the relationship between hearts and minds as one of domination or cage-like confinement of one by the other, instead conjuring up a sort of collaborative arrangement. The lines and orbs together define a richly layered field of operations, not aggressively frictional but still dynamic, evolving and vigorous.

*

* Cirrus, 542 S. Alameda St., (213) 680-3473, through May 16. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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