It may seem absurd for Brad Davis to maintain that his views of mountain streams cascading through rocks are influenced by Chinese painting. There's no open space in his cropped Colorado landscapes, no hint of a misty atmosphere, no refined sense of arrangement. Instead, Davis' "Hanging Lake Falls" series of acrylics on canvas offers a weight lifter's variation of Cubist space with water zigzagging through chiseled boulders. Up close, however, you see that the Chinese connection is in the brush work. Each stroke counts and some that depict water segue from rapid fall to splash to froth, as if painted by a Zen master.
Concurrently, John Lorinser christens a small gallery, called the New Room, that will provide introductory shows for little known artists. Lorinser, a swimmer, paints murky self-portraits with a shadowy figure moving through a large expanse of water. He puts us in mind of some of the New Image painters of the mid-'70s, but there's an expressionistic poignancy to these shy little paintings that suggests they come from experience rather than recent art history. (Fahey/Klein Gallery, 148 N. La Brea Ave., to Feb. 27.)