Last month, the Oakland Art Murmur Gallery Association expanded its membership area to the Jack London District. This meant the addition of four galleries, plus four mixed-use venues, bringing the total number of participating venues to more than thirty. Not only does this expansion represent a maturing scene, it also means there are a lot more shows worth checking out. Here are ten must-see exhibits right now:
10. Sanjay Vora: Rhythmic compositions that, while relying on texture, poetically comment on mark-making sans image. Horizons of Promise runs through April 28 at Vessel Gallery (471 25th St., Oakland, 510-893-8800, Vessel-Gallery.com)
9. Dan Weber: Heroic, assemblage sculpture using stylized form to invoke a fantastic reality where the implied narrative is secondary to the abstract structures. Study of the Recent Sculpture of Dan Weber runs through April 28 at Manna Gallery (473 25th St., Ste. C, Oakland, MannaGallery.com)
8. Jeffrey Cheung: There really is nothing like giant paintings in a giant space — these figurative works use the space well, presenting a solid portfolio. At Sticks + Stones (815 Broadway, Oakland, 510-689-1280, SS-Gallery.com) through May 3.
7. Jen Schnell: Alongside the drawings, paintings, sculpture, and jewelry of an amazing collection of local artists, Jen Schnell brings an inspired hand to Crown Nine (461 A 9th St., Oakland, 510-507-0789, Crown-Nine.com) — the rising star in the pop-up neighborhood of Old Oakland. Show runs through May 3.
6. Johansson Projects (2300 Telegraph, 510-444-9140, JohanssonProjects.com): Since Murmur started, this gallery has been the most consistent. This new show exhibits the work of two artists who seamlessly mesh an illustrated vision of a romantic landscape. Hymns to the Moon, featuring works by Tadashi Moriyama and Robert Minervini, runs through May 5.
5. Nicolo Sertorio: Amazing presentation of amply sized, satisfying, process-based photographs. Peregrinations, which means to wander from place to place, runs through May 12 at Photo (473 25th St., Oakland, PhotoGalleryOakland.com).
4. Eliza Fernand: Quilt-like, wall-hung art stitched with love from the most colorful recesses of our deepest imaginations. Flying Geese Pyramid runs through May 3 at Hatch Gallery (492 23rd St., 510-310-2770, HatchGallery.org).
3. Jaime Lakatos and Ken Davis: The artisan bicycles strewn about help the work of master sign-painter Ken Davis and twisted taxidermy-sculptress Jaime Lakatos shine with unique brilliance. Show runs through May 3 at Manifesto (831 Broadway, Oakland, 510-444-9911, WeAreManifesto.com).
2. Brian Caraway and David Allen Peters: These two painters epitomize contemporary minimalism in a way that reminds us why the movement is important. SuperOptic runs through May 19 at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (480 23rd. St., Oakland, 510-260-7494, ChandraCerritoContemporary.com) .
1. RKDB: Yes, that's a bowl full of ash you are invited to smear across yourself in the middle of the installation. Give yourself five minutes to experience the piece — you will be changed. Illuminations runs through May 3 at Krowswork (480 23rd St., 510-229-7035, Krowswork.com).
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