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Jill McLennan, Mary Curtis Ratcliff and Diverse Directions Group Show 

When: Aug. 5-28 2010
City and country are the subjects of Jill McLennan's drawings, paintings, and assemblages in Cycles of the City and Mary Curtis Ratcliff's mixed-media prints in Small Worlds... & Large. McLennan's colorful oils on canvas depict Oakland neighborhoods ("LakeMerritt, Gardening," "Curious Construct," and "Oakland Furniture") in a sophisticated folk-art style.;Aa new series of mixed-media pieces ("White," "Oakland Oil," "Ghost") transfers that site-specific urban energy into abstraction. Ratcliff takes nature photographs and enhances the digital pritnsprints (or xeroxXerox transfers) with drawing, creating poetic landscapes ("Minnesota Porch," "Long Foam," "Zen Pool"). The addition of geometric elements--architectural motifs in "Spiral" and "Sonic" and circular, tondo panels in ""Fresnel" and "Effet de Lune"--further enriches her complex collages/assemblages, "Watermark," and "Lumen."";Nnegotiating their layered spaces seems like seeing, thinking, and remembering anew. McLennan/Ratcliffe runs through August 28 at Mercury Twenty Gallery (475 25th St., Oakland). 510-701-4620 or MercuryTwenty.com.
— DeWitt Cheng

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