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When: June 22-July 9 2011

Benicia Gantner's semi-abstract collages are as beautifully ambiguous and richly ambivalent as her title, Eos, Greek for "dawn," (remember the proto-horse Eohippus?), which invokes both past and future. While her material may be computer-cut vinyl, her designs come from drawing; her intricate floral assemblages, also suggestive of fireworks, derive their simplified shapes, flat backgrounds, and overall patterning from Kandinsky/Pollock modernist abstraction -- but also, perhaps, from quilting and embroidery. (Jean Lipman made that heretical point about Formalism and craftwork in her 1975 book Provocative Parallels.) "Unfolding Florescence," "Mariner," "Memorial," Nebullita," and "Vis Viva" (i.e., life force), each a virtuoso improvisation without prior design, proffer clearly artificial, metaphorical visions of nature while simultaneously commenting on its historical depiction in arts and crafts work. Catalog available.Eos runs through July 9 at Traywick Contemporary (895 Colusa Ave., Berkeley). 510-527-1214 or

— DeWitt Cheng


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