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Santa Monica

An inconclusive sampling of two artists who live in Europe leaves at least a whiff of their differing sensibilities. Bertrand Lavier is well-known in art circles broadcasting out of France. Here we see him in a Ping-Pong table-top slathered with paint so it looks like a cruciform Barnett Newman, a section of wooden gym floor with its hard-edge abstract lines and process art made of a tennis net. Or is it volleyball?

Lavier isn’t all about sports, but his art-jokes are cast in athletics’ more lighthearted accents. He appears as a fun-loving Dadaist who is not out to be taken too seriously, and that’s fine with us.

Jack Ox, an American living in Cologne, makes art about music. A scattering of pieces festoons musical scores with diagrams and drawings of Baroque ceilings. So far so good. Then we encounter his more ambitious paintings of similar subjects rendered of offset bars and the whole thing falls apart. Ox paints so awkwardly that any notion of this work having to do with the marvelous structure and variation of great music just won’t wash. (Meyers/Bloom Gallery, 2112 Broadway, to Nov. 26.)


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