“Addition/Reduction” at Gail Harvey brings together nine artists who may or may not use collage or assemblage, but who work in a spirit of intricate assembly, potent juxtaposition and sensuous texture. The work of Mary Stone, Franklin Liegel and Doug Trump is made of paint and nothing but, yet still feels as if it’s carved, pasted, broken up and put back together again. The actual collages of Alan Valencia and Norman Schwab and assemblages by Charlotte Valestra and Dave Seiler, and the hybrid collaged paintings made by Katherine Chang Liu (who organized this visually varied and geographically far-flung show) and Sammy Peters are all put together with rhythmic elegance and rich tactility, offering beguiling combinations of delicacy and roughness. Unlike so many group shows, “Addition/Reduction” brings together artists who don’t look much alike but who clearly share an entirely visual sensibility — as well as bringing together too-rarely-exhibited locals like Liegel and Valencia with out-of-town newcomers like Trump and Stone.

Mary Jones’ sensibility is far more painterly, but she, too, revels in the look and feel of her medium, conjuring up some surprisingly moving neo-neo-expressionist images — images that either aren’t really “there” (floral apparitions actually transferred as photocopies to paper) or are so “there” they seem almost scratched into the canvas. The colors glow, the forms burgeon, and the gestures seem at once loosed and contained. And how can you not get a kick out of a show with watercolors almost three times the size of the oil paintings? “Addition/Reduction” at Gail Harvey, 2525 Michigan Ave., #B-5, Santa Monica, Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; (310) 829-9125. Mary Jones at Jancar, 3875 Wilshire Blvd., #1308, L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., noon-6 p.m.; (323) 384-8077. Both thru Jan. 13.

—Peter Frank

LA Weekly