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Surface Tension 

When: May 20-30 2009

Surface tension is the molecular bond that makes a water membrane "sticky" and impenetrable. Chandra Cerrito Gallery is showing four artists who play with 2D surface abstraction and 3D spatial illusionism. The black webs in Jen Garrido's paintings have an improvised look, but the rectilinear sculptural shapes they construct are spatially ambiguous, like Albers' geometric optical illusions. Christopher Martin pours paint onto Plexiglas; the organic textures seen from the reverse side suggest botany and geology. DeneaneNiebergall's abstract acrylic paintings with their flattened biomorphic shapes and jazzy colors marry Pop, cartooning and Art Nouveau sensibilities. David Allan Peters explores layered acrylic paint; he excavates into his paintings on panel, exposing the sedimentation, or he sections his topographies and piles the booklike forms (reminiscent of marbleized endpapers) into small sculptures of mountains. Surface Tension runs through May 30 at Chandra Cerrito Gallery (25 Grand Ave., Oakland). ChandraCerrito.com/ccc or 415-577-7537.


— DeWitt Cheng

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