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Water/Color 

When: Jan. 6-Feb. 25 2012

The rains are back, so this two-person show exploring hydrodynamics is right on schedule. Michele Hofherr captures the whorls, rivulets, and blooms of colored ink dropped into clear water in her Ink Explosion series of untitled but numbered color photos. The wispy, fluid arabesques are reminiscent of the drip and stain paintings of the 1960s by Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis, and re-assert the richness of undirected natural phenomena -- judiciously edited, of course. Jane Norling's mixed-media (not watercolor) painting series, Shaped by Water, with its vertical formats (unusual for landscape), depicts scenic and even exotic locales (or yogic states? -- it's unclear) like Kalabati, Anjati, Ujayi, Driste and Basrika -- and Yellowstone (okay, ixnay on the Wyoming yoga). Their linear tendrils and transparent planes invoke immanent natural forces and emotions rather than the specifics of time and tide. Water/Color runs through February 25 at Slate Contemporary (473 25th St., Oakland). 510-652-4085 or SlateArtandDesign.com

— DeWitt Cheng

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