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The Valley

Realist painter E.K. Meadow shows a suite called “New Roadscapes,” depicting everyday Santa Monica streets turned into wide-angle highways that recede mysteriously. Positioning her view point at the center and ground level of each street, Meadow allows most of her canvases to be taken up by expanses of wide, flat road lined on either side by shiny parked cars and trees that shrink as our eye is sucked quickly backward toward some distant vanishing point.

Scenes are bathed in an exaggerated afternoon glow that can heighten shadows, emphasize hard edges and wash out detail in the same painting, or veil trees and distant hills in the hazy atmosphere of plein-air painting. In a work like “11th Street and Santa Monica II,” the two approaches to realism create a nettling disunity, but mostly the strange vantage points, the absence of people and motion give works the feel of a Twilight Zone episode in an ordinary neighborhood. (Orlando Gallery, 14553 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, to July 28.)


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