Los Angeles

Three-Man Show

Gallery 669

Three young object makers appear in their first gallery presentation with smallish works in plastic. The sparse white elegance of the Gallery 669 situation emphasizes the preciousness of each one. Paul Donin questions public attitudes with refined, private phallic substitutes that are hygienically transparent and thoughtfully provided with straps or handles. Obviously meant to surprise the naive, the more sophisticated viewer may expect to be bored and turn his attention to other matters. As esthetic objects they are little more than purely refined, and terribly vulnerable in their passionless and clinical utility.

Terrence O’Shea’s objects are made of dyed and layered cast polyester resin and their slightness in the past was outdone by junior high school crafts baubles. Thankfully as the shapes, colors, and embedments have become more complicated and hence mysterious, and as the increase in size moves them out of the objets d’art category, the works have become far more important. The two wands and a wedge barely escape the former hermetic aspects, but in any case demonstrate a repertory of forms and effects with much potential.

As in the works of his fellow exhibitors, Douglas Edge’s Plexiglas chair is overlaid with another major element which alters if not distracts From some positions the transparency of the material causes major sections to disappear while the refracting properties fracture the planar structure with bands of light and distorted strips of the environment. Screened onto the back slat is the black image of a bomb’s explosion, by now a useless cliché for terror; one expects it is meant to have social implications (confirmed by other of Edge’s works) but here it appears a gratuitous decal.

Fidel Danieli