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No Man's Land Scape 

When: May 5-June 4 2010
Price: free

The artificial landscape, with nature contaminated or colonized by culture, seems to be ubiquitous these days, as if nature receded into the mythic past. JessalynHaggenjos' small and mid-size enamel paintings on panel depict mountain scenes as cauldrons of blazing color, rich texture, and energetic patterning; yet while they represent nature's turbulent force with expressionist vigor, they seem somehow synthetic (which might be the point, come to think of it). The paint flows like lava in every direction -- independent of underlying form, and never quite congealing -- so that we discern peak, plain, mountain range, and sky only through context, i.e., shape and location. The most satisfying merger of representation and abstraction is "BeginningLakes on MonumentValley." "Seismite Foundation" is the more complex of the two small mixed-media sculptures on view. No Man's Land Scape runs through June 4 at Branch Gallery (455 17th St., Oakland). 510-508-1764 or Bayvan.org

— DeWitt Cheng

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