San Marcos

Janet Cooling

Boehm Gallery, Palomar College

“Brave New World” was the title of this exhibition of portraits of women by Janet Cooling. The show concentrated on her recent paintings and drawings, primarily from the past two years, but also included a small selection of paintings from the early '80s. The later works are so superior, both in technical sophistication and approach to subject matter, that it was almost painful to see the early work. Cooling's paintings have evolved from very flat, gaudy images painted on black backgrounds, resembling psychedelic posters from the '60s, into richly textured, painterly portraits that evoke real emotional depth. Judging by the unevenness of this show, however, the transition has been rocky. Cooling appears to have been trying out different styles of painting, as well as a variety of attitudes toward her female subjects and spiritual stances. The range is hard to get a grip on; one could easily

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