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Art review: Amy Green at Monte Vista

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In “Grids, Stains, Stacks,” at the artist-run space Monte Vista, Amy Green is clearly wrestling with some worthy questions — the legacy of craft; the shifting relationship between painting, sculpture and architecture; the creative potential of the accident, the scrap, the stain, residue — and hits a number of transcendent notes. Working primarily with acrylic paint on felt and wood, she creates patchworks of color both painterly and sculptural. Whether staining the felt with thin washes of pigment or binding individual sheets into loose, multicolored stacks, she builds on the material’s friendly, folksy character to produce works that are generally appealing and occasionally riveting.

Some works hang on the wall like traditional paintings, others rest on the floor. Several appear inconspicuously on the ceiling, wound in among the rafters and light fixtures. Approaching the worn Highland Park storefront on its own terms, blemishes and all, she engages the space in a genuine and, it seems, mutually rewarding conversation.

There’s room here, however, to go several steps further, whether in the direction of more (expansion) or less (refinement). A handful of exquisitely sensual and delicate stained works leaves one wishing the show had been winnowed down to only these few faint but stirringly sensual traces. The chunkier works have a raw, brawnier appeal that triggers a longing for rooms full of felt. The middle ground, where the show remains, falls short of this compelling potential.

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-- Holly Myers

Monte Vista, 5442 Monte Vista St., Los Angeles, through Feb. Closed Monday through Friday. montevistaprojects.com


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