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Kabat/Sterling 

When: Thu., June 17, 12 p.m. 2010

These two artists explore different aesthetic territory, but their solo shows complement each other, albeit strangely. Maya Kabat's abstract canvases feature yellow, ocher, umber, white, black, and gray rectangles floating in a space created by color and depositions/excavations of oil paint. While they suggest the landscape abstractions of Hoffmann and Diebenkorn, they also symbolize the dynamic energy of cities, ever-changing, as seen from the air. All six works are entitled "This Living Process," and numbered, with the phrase's double meanings linking intuitive painting with conscious living. Julianne Sterling's figurative "Mommy Assassin" paintings instead engage in lighthearted subversion. In them, the realities of motherhood -- clingy tots, knee-high cowboys, and weapons MacGyvered from Tinkertoys and Lego blocks -- collide with the fantasy creatures of moviedom -- slinky "hit women" posing before Bond-babe wallpaper. Bang bang, my baby shot me dead. Kabat/Sterling runs through June 26 at Mercury Twenty Gallery (475 25th St., Oakland). 415-701-4620 or MercuryTwenty.com

— DeWitt Cheng

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