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Communication Gap Critics' Pick Staff Pick

When: Aug. 16-Sept. 8 2008

Anyone who has experienced e-mail sender's remorse ("Oh, no!") knows the peril of depersonalized, disembodied instant communication: responding quickly and automatically, we can be easily misunderstood -- or, perhaps worse, too well understood. Angie Brown, Crystal Morey, Jake Gabel, Nancy Bach, Patrick Renner, and Amanda Jayne Kennedy explore modern interpersonal (and impersonal) relations at the Compound Gallery. Kennedy and Renner adopt the Surrealist game of blind artistic collaboration for an "exquisite corpse" sculpture that marries a ball of socks in its Gothic cage with an octopus tentacle. Brown draws dramatic, angular portraits that infuse comic-book style with angst. Gabel depicts mysterious juxtapositions of tigers, playing cards and rosettes. Bach constructs a multimedia cityscape with cassette tapes rolling on their capstans like pulleys or assembly lines. Morey builds doll-like, vexed female nudes that are classically posed on their florid wall brackets.Communication Gap runs through September 8 at the Compound Gallery (6604 San Pablo Ave.,Oakland). TheCompoundGallery.com or 510-655-9019.


— DeWitt Cheng

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