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"Gun Hill Road", o/c, 91 3/4 x 88 1/4", 1995.

One of the signal figures of Abstract Expressionism's "second generation," Michael Goldberg has changed styles frequently during the near half-century of his career, but has relied throughout on painterly gesture as the basic unit. Recent canvases are as much arenas of manual vigor as ever. But Goldberg has suppressed his centrifugal explosiveness, semi-collapsing his strokes into orbiting swirls and rocking bars, and his compositions into rhythmic compressions pressing against the edges of the picture plane. Also modified almost to the point of suppression is Goldberg's palette, now a subtle play of bluish and blackish grays in certain works, and soft luminous earth colors in others. Both schemata are sometimes enlivened with foreign-seeming areas of vivid yellow or blue. It feels as if Goldberg has placed his native sensibility in a pressure cooker, reigning in its inherent exuberance in order to brew an ominous intensity (Manny Silverman Gallery, West Hollywood).

Joe Goode exploits the coloristic properties of the unique Mixografia printmaking process even more than he does its most salient characteristic, its emphatic textures. Burning parts of two of the five prints in his Pollution Series has yielded unusual textural effects, but for the most part Goode relies on corrosively bright or darkly murky hues to convey the effect of being surrounded by toxin-laden air. In this respect Goode's Mixografics extend the abstract-impressionist approach to atmospheric qualities that this curious painter-sculptor has long practiced. "Curious," because with such work Goode straddles several tendencies native to Southern California--Pop, light and space, material abstraction, even conceptual art--fusing all but belonging clearly to none. Transcending rubrics like this, Goode's art is elusive and yet immediate and palpable, these prints no less than his other paintings and prints (The Remba Gallery, West Hollywood).

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(1) Robert Kingston, "Orange/Yellow on White", o/c, 10 x 10", 1996.
(2) Thomas Nozkowski, "Untitled #6-119", oil on canvasboard, 16 x 20", 1991.

Robert Kingston was making a respectable name for himself when he left his native Southern California two years ago for the notably different climes of New York. It is clear he moved there first and foremost for the intellectual and artistic stimulation; he hangs out primarily with fellow artists, as he did here, and quickly established a network of like-minded abstract painters. The Formal Abstraction Kingston documents with the smaller, more shippable work of twelve New Yorkers is hardly foreign to Los Angeles. Painterly abstraction has figured as a significant local trend in the '90s--thanks in part to Kingston himself. Now he's functioning as an ambassador of abstraction, bringing out some of his new friends' work to show to his old ones. Kingston has mixed some powerful older talents such as Harvey Quaytman, Heidi Glück and Tom Nozkowski with some recently established figures such as Nancy Haynes and Christian Haub, as well as rapidly emerging painters including Melissa Kretschmer, Stefan Becker, Leslie Wayne, Richard Tsao, Ruth Pastine and Eve Aschheim--the last another talented Big Orange product (Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica)

These nine photographs of German photographer Axel Hutte are exquisite images of the natural landscape. Shot in wintery conditions and stormy weather, these photographs seem to depict the edge of the world. In the photographed frame mountains appear, then disappear in a foggy haze. In many images Hutte presents a sharp horizon line that stops just before an atmospheric haze. Although not all of Hutte's photographs are large, they convey the sense of infinite space--both a welcoming and frightening concept as illustrated in Hutte's magnificent images (Burnett Miller Gallery, Santa Monica).

Steve Schauer,"IV Pea Sea", glass/steel/argon, 15 x 68", 1995.

Steve Schauer's work with electrically produced light shares a lot more than might first seem apparent with James Michael Mahoney's more or less traditionally formatted paintings. Schauer quite obviously employs new forms, materials and techniques in the fabrication of his large wall-installed structures and panels. Not so obviously, new technologies also inform Mahoney's large canvases and smaller multi-paneled paintings. Schauer's engagement of industrial materials, most especially light-producing devices, ironically formulate into two-dimensional compositions. Their distinguishing, and most appealing, characteristics of luminosity and rhythmic composition emphasize their pictoriality. Mahoney begins with pictorial reasoning, but builds, weaves and superimposes disparate images into multi-layered apparitions whose visual instability and informational density establish a peculiar visual space. While Schauer's space is the insubstantial aether of light, Mahoney metaphorically accesses another intagible arena, cyberspace (Patricia Correia Gallery, Santa Monica).

Tom Wesselmann is best known for his pop-influenced paintings done in the 1960's. This survey presents works made between 1959 and 1995. The work on view ranges from small paintings and collages made in the 1960's that are part of his Great American Nude Series, to more recent three-dimensional works made on corragated aluminum. Wesslemann still works with large areas of flat color to make his portrait and still life works. In this exhibition the newer works come off the wall, becoming three-dimensional tableaux that viewers can almost walk right into (Fred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica).