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Lazhar Mansouri
untitled, Ain Beida, Algeria
ca. 1960-70
Westwood Gallery
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by Donald Kuspit

Mel Pekarsky makes drawings and etchings of desert foliage and space, meant as studies for mural-scale works. Ostensibly mimetic, they also readily read as exquisite abstractions, peculiarly modernist. The paper is delicately toned by pencil and oil -- often pencil alone -- which seem to infiltrate its surface, insinuating a sense of indwelling depth that turns the paper itself into a raw terrain, even as it makes its flatness insistent.