Although his show is entirely of paperworks, Manfred Müller still comes off quite the sculptor most obviously in the curved and pleated works for which he is best known, but also in several series of entirely flat oils and oil pastels. Oil or not, theyre drawings; flat or not, theyre a sculptors drawings, their heavy black shapes clunking and careening around the confines of the paper plane or mount. And many of them, rendered on grid substructures, are also scarred with precise, flattened folds in the paper, raising the pieces physical profile just a hair but making them seem profoundly more palpable. Despite obvious similarities in the work, Müllers formal grace and material sensuousness are very different from (and no less powerful than) Richard Serras. For one thing, Müller works not with minimalized forms, but with forms hewn erratically and set in dynamic relation to one another simple and elegant like jewelry rather than massive and imposing like architecture.
Jason Peters keeps things straightforward too until he doesnt. Peters assembles sculptural structures out of many examples of a single thing, chairs, ladders, etc. The works here have all been built out of plastic buckets which Peters employs as if they were segments of organic wholes, wholes that ripple and writhe through space like so many tapeworm Godzillas. The pièce de résistance hurls itself glowingly through near-pitch darkness, taking more than the eye for a wild ride. Manfred Müller at Rose Gallery, Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and by appt. (310) 264-8440. Jason Peters at Berman Gallery, Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (310) 315-1937. Both thru Sept. 4 at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.