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A Season of Improvisation, Celebration and Alienation : Art: Area galleries plan exhibits with works ranging from the emotional to the whimsical.

Alarge figure wearing a bloodstained shirt stares off into the distance. The stained glass windows behind him cast long shadows, and a three-legged cat runs by. In the background hangs a large tapestry with a red medical cross in the center of a religious cross.

“It’s addressing how the church should act as a hospital for the wounded and the hurt,” artist Tim Timmerman said of his oil painting. “But at the same time, the church is the very thing that throws them out. . . . The people in the painting are in a church without walls. We don’t administer to our own.”

Timmerman’s paintings, on display at the Artspace Gallery in Woodland Hills, explore alienation and loneliness, themes prevalent among works to be exhibited in at least two San Fernando Valley art galleries in the late spring and early summer.

In addition to Timmerman’s works, the Artspace show features Christina Fernandez’s “Alienation Series,” compelling photographs of distraught men and women.

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Desolation also will be part of “Photosphere,” a group photography show at the Finegood Gallery in Woodland Hills. Included are photographs of an abandoned gas station and an old New England cottage.

“They’re all places where nobody is anymore,” curator Marjorie Berkson Sievers said.

The Finegood show, which includes photos in black and white as well as color, also features a social documentary on Soviet Jews and a 15-foot landscape scene.

The Artspace exhibit, titled “Basic Expression,” is similarly diverse, featuring sculptures and paintings that explore the full range of human emotion. “It’s a mirror of the human spirit,” said Timmerman, who helped organize the show.

The sculpture of Susan Foley Johannsen, for instance, combines the ancient and the contemporary. One piece features a large steel boat with three tomblike stones in it. “It’s about traveling back to basic tribal thoughts, a peaceful journey back to exploring the basics, our ancestral beginnings,” Timmerman said.

“Basic Expression” is open through June 2.

After that, Artspace will exhibit a retrospective of Latino artist Raul Anguiano, whose portraits feature women in rural Mexico.

The Orlando Gallery in Sherman Oaks in May will exhibit the sculpture of co-owner Phil Orlando, who has assembled objects--including feathers, beads, ivory and pictures--on the covers and pages of magazines and books.

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He took a magazine called Longevity, for instance, and affixed images of vitamins, face lifts, body reconstructions and bodybuilding. “It’s all about looking more beautiful and more fit,” Orlando said. Later in the summer, the Orlando gallery will exhibit paintings and drawings of various cultures, including African, Mexican, Indian and American Indian.

“Visions of Spring,” a group show at Contemporary Images in Sherman Oaks, will feature paintings, drawings and ceramics, including abstract works, floral designs and street scenes. Through May, Installations One in Encino will continue its exhibit of “Contemporary Print Making,” which includes the lithographs, silk screens, etchings and engravings of eight Los Angeles artists.

In June, the gallery will exhibit “Time and Motion,” a show featuring functional clocks, drawings and paintings of clocks.

Also throughout June, the Brand Library Art Center in Glendale will feature an exhibition of the National Watercolor Society.

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During the summer months, college and university art galleries, will display student works.

The Main Gallery at Cal State Northridge will have its annual show of 100 graduate and undergraduate works, including video, photography, painting, sculpture, industrial design, advertising, printmaking, jewelry and textiles.

“Basically, everything that’s taught here will be represented in the show,” said Ann Burroughs, exhibit coordinator.

The works will be selected from 500 entries, and the artists will compete for prize money.

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CSUN’s North Gallery will feature weekly exhibitions of graduate student works throughout May. It will include “Las Voces del Silencio,” a show of abstract painting by Carmen Tothero, and an interior design show of fabrics and models of rooms.


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