A Bedia Bestiary

While the current show offers no real surprises, the drawings on parchment, hung together on one wall, hint at new directions. Smaller and sparer than the large, bold works that are more typical of Bedia's oeuvre, these 40-by-26-inch pieces have a delicate quality that persists despite their splashes of primary colors. In one untitled work, a boat, a plane, a bird, a dragonfly, and a horned man's head are laid out in a spare geometric formation, like hieroglyphics; together they work as shorthand for travel, emigration, and freedom. Generally, these smaller drawings are less narrative and more abstract than the large banners, recalling the work of other artists who use spiritual and religious imagery, such as Kandinsky, Klee, and (vaguely) Marc Chagall.

Bedia's imagery is simple and repetitive, yet his work is genuinely affecting, with the universal appeal of tales passed down through generations. The pieces captivate because the artist is a teller of stories that he himself believes no matter how facile they are, and because he is therefore able to deliver through his animals a sense of humanity.

Historia de Animales.
Through October 10 at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 3078 SW 38th Ct; 448-8976.

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