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Byron Spicer 

When: May 12-June 21 2011
Chuck Close and Georges Seurat may come to mind when you see Byron Spicer's mosaic paintings, but while those artists employ ovals or tiny dots to transform the everyday into the monumental, Spicer composes his gridded images from small square paintings on paper, both figurative and abstract, aiming at a Chuck Jones-like Looney Tunes humor. Subject matter like a colossal sculpted head ("Easter Island"), a cartoony toy alligator ("Under the Radar"), and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger strutting his manly stuff ("Kahleefornia Bling" and "Total Recall") coalesces from squiggles and doodles. His titles are similarly jocular: A circular ring is entitled "Oh" and a painting emptied of unifying image is entitled "Treasure Hunt." Spicer's shapes seep across his boundaries, so surfaces and depths play against each other, or dance to a merry melody. Byron Spicer runs through June 21 at Latham Square (1611 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). 510-763-4361 or ProArtsGallery.org.
— DeWitt Cheng

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