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Santa Monica

Painter/sculptor Jeff Colson shows small abstract paintings typically divided into two horizontal bands, one in gray/white tones, the other in dark slate colors. Scattered through the crusty, carefully built-up fields are delicate little scribbles like old cave markings or triangles, set side by side so that they oscillate between pure geometry and primeval allusions to landscape. In the two-paneled “Bump/Dent,” one square surface is covered with a handsome green patina-like finish and has a tiny centrally placed convex mound. The neighboring panel is covered in coppery pigments and has an identical concave depression. This work hints at some general sensibility running through the show.

The side that mimics the green tinge of traditional bronze sculpture resembles some metal object/tool reappropriated into art; the coppery side looks like the imprint left long ago by its use. The same sense of strange artifacts that hint at a function--but have none other than careful artifice--animates Colson’s free-standing, lathe-crafted sculptures, which outshine paintings by strides. Some litter the gallery floor like obsolete ribbed barrels; another is a huge sensual club that resembles a giant mortar or similar crushing tool propped aimlessly on a wall. (Angles Gallery, 2230 Main St., to April 29.)


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