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Good Times 

When: May 19-26 2011

Solid painting skills and engaging eccentricity combine in the work of the Massachusetts couple Carrie Mae Smith and Greg Watson. Smith, a butcher's daughter, makes work about the meat world. A collage series swathes Joy of Cooking illustrations (e.g., "Crown Roast, (Lamb)," "Pork Chops") in 1970s floral wallpaper swatches. Her oils ("Rack of Lamb," "Thick-cut Bacon with Fork") may look impressionist, but they ooze with deadpan humor, like her foam-stuffed stocking sausages. Watson's small oils treat traditional subjects (portraits, pets, people eating) with droll weirdness: "Tart," "Joe," "Concert," "Singer Songwriter," and "Sister Wendy" hover, amiably, just short of caricature. "Ham," My First Ham," "Bad Dream," "Bathers," "Smiling Horses," and "Bicycle Card with Thumb" are classics of oddball humor and admirable painting chops (no ribbing intended). Good Times runs through May 26 at Kuhl Frames + Art (412 22nd St., Oakland). 510-625-0123 or

— DeWitt Cheng


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