Friday, May 1, 2009

Tromp l'oeil, Realism and Fantasy

(image is graphite drawing by Tara Tucker, via the artist's blog)

Made a visit to the galleries at 77 Geary yesterday, with my friend Sherry Miller. She wanted to see the Richard Linder show at George Krevsky, and I think I'll let her tell you about that.

Tara Tucker's drawings are next door, at the Rena Bransten Gallery. Great stuff - big, careful, funny, detailed, narrative, graphite drawings of odd animals in odd interactions. Realistic, bordering on surreal, obviously imagined (not photo-based.) Exquisite, confident lines with zero smudging or erasures. More of her drawings at the Rena Bransten site and the artist's blog. Tucker currently lives in Berkeley and is an art instructor at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, Ca.
("Rock Wall" by William Powhida, via Marx and Zavattero gallery)

Marx and Zavattero gallery has a group show of work about music and fashion. My favorite piece was William Powhida's "Rock Wall." It's almost a tromp l'oeil of an artist's bulletin board. One of the memos in the center of the board says: "All assistants are FREE ie FIRED. As of Monday the art studio will now be a recording studio for my BAND. . . .Call me if the market recovers."

Perfect timing, because the Adler Gallery, at the end of the hall, was showing Anthony Mastromatteo's classic, photorealist paintings of comic strips taped to a board. Very reminiscent of William Harnett. They also had quite a few of E. Dale Erickson's paintings leaning against the walls around the gallery.

It was an unexpected pleasure to see all these works in the same general space. Most will be there until May 16th.

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