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La Cienega Area

Veteran painter Peter Liashkov’s rather hermetic recent works seem to aspire to a state of disembodied transparency and nature-bound mystery. Painted on thin sheets of plywood suspended a half-inch from the wall, these works variously suggest landscapes, images of growth or celestial regions.

Tall ovals, an irregular four-sided shape like a scarf pulled at each corner and gorge-like wedges recur on grounds stroked with watery, evasive color. Clusters of small arrowhead-like markings arranged in precise formations repeat a private language. In the dark lower portion of “Crowblood,” two swooping, thickly painted white shapes might be vestiges of animal bones; between them, short, curving orange strokes churn up a disturbance. In “Danae,” a large, firm pumpkin-orange oval is surrounded by vaporous white drifts.

The net effect is a reticent, astringently intellectualized kind of biomorphism, not terribly easy to warm up to but clearly the product of an exquisite weighing of options and the fine-tuning of a painterly sensibility. (Jan Turner Gallery, 8000 Melrose Ave., to Oct. 29)


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