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Wink Wink

The Art Guys' cute mockery -- and at the other extreme, West End's completely "Anonymous" show

Such questions are both disrupted and disclosed by this show, which is also about physically and psychologically locating

neself in the world. One artist taped a poem about anonymity to the gallery door. There are soothing still-life renditions as well as meditative paintings of clouds and decidedly edgy abstractions of creeping vines. There's a group of drawings titled Nervous Energy: crackling fields that alternately congeal and transmit feelings of chaos, confusion and anxiety. Apprehensions regarding the fragmented self are conveyed by images of dismembered feet floating in a sea of eyes. In another piece, hands are cut off at the wrists, even as the fingers busy themselves with a game of cat's cradle. Two cartoony drawings juxtapose an incomplete man (Freud) and a complete woman blowing a bubble pipe (Gertrude Stein). The assemblage 3-D Doodles, featuring wrappers, straws and twist ties shaped as tiny figures, is a microcosm of psychological states.

Not surprisingly, there are a number of portraits with images either defaced or veiled, toeing the line between existence in limbo and the fear of revealing oneself. In the tiny black-and-white photo You're Just a Wave, a figure is cast adrift in the ocean, a part of the inevitable life process. There are works about relationships (Hare Affair, Love at First Sight), suburban living conditions (Manifest Destiny: Sky's the Limit) and spirituality (My Best Friend is Jesus, Ojos de Dios), as well as feelings both resolved and unresolved (Shadows 1-111, Dream 8/2/89 and 9/12/89, Their Small Voices). What emerges is a cohesive group of individuals perhaps unconsciously mapping themselves in the world. Significantly, the "Anonymous" show is the kind of worthwhile endeavor so obvious that no one was astute enough to think of it, until now.

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