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Review: Katia Santibanez at Jancar Gallery

May 22, 2009 | 11:00 am

KATIA SANTIBANEZ Story of red acrylic on wood 20x20 2009 JANCAR GALLERY The paintings of Katia Santibanez at Jancar Gallery are handsome if not exactly revelatory abstractions that build on a couple of basic motifs: grids, stripes and rows of jagged, grass-like tendrils, primarily. With a tasteful palette and meticulous sense of line, they speak of a careful, considerate approach, one attentive to the nuance of form and repetition.

Not surprisingly, however, the standout of the show is the painting that seems to throw caution to the wind. “Story of ..... Red” is a 20-inch-square panel featuring a thicket of delicate, undulating black lines laid over a brilliant crimson ground that’s modulated with touches of burgundy and orange. The cluster thins toward the center, suggesting a view into a cave whose walls are shaggy with the roots of nearby flora.

It is a dramatic painting, vividly seductive and sensual, with a spark of life that leaves one wondering what else lies beneath the veneer of control that characterizes all the others.

-- Holly Myers

Jancar Gallery, 961 Chung King Road, Chinatown, (213) 625-2522, through May 30. Closed Sunday through Tuesday.

Image: Katia Santibanez's "Story of ..... Red.” Credit: Jancar Gallery.