Guide Me – Paradise 

At Johansson Projects.

Courtney Sennish’s recent artwork defamiliarizes the urban landscape through sculptural abstraction. Guide Me – Paradise, her current show at Johansson Projects (2300 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) transforms the gallery into a deconstructed sidewalk scene. A slanted slab of concrete painted with the shadow of an invisible tree sits next to what looks like a piece of curb, half painted yellow — like a loading zone. The same yellow appears on an upright slab, patterned with protrusions like the ones meant to guide vision-impaired pedestrians. Isolated from their usual context, the day-to-day design elements start to look like odd monuments memorializing a metropolis. Sennish is interested in the ways that these built environments affect our collective understanding of nature and hopes to question how they direct our interaction with and perception of the world around us.

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