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"Process Portrait" 

When: Feb. 8-March 2 2013
Price: free

It is by no means a new trend in art to shift focus away from material objects toward a broader field of activity: the processes of their making, the relationships they call forth, and so on. The five young artists, all Berkeley grads, who have put together Process Portrait at Firehouse Art Collective clearly subscribe to this sensibility. They present their works, which use a range of media including paint, installations of assembled everyday objects, and 3D prints, as "portraits" of their creative processes. The collaborative duo Smith|Allen, for instance, maneuvers cell drawings through additional layers of digital software interpretation, highlighting the changes that occur en route. CaityBallister's sculpture consisting of several hundred strung tortillas, each riddled with holes bit out by the artist, brings the meticulous and time-consuming nature of its process to the fore. But then there are Eve Arbel's vivid canvases of sensuous, scraped encaustic. In these, the material itself still commands center stage. Process Portrait runs through March 2 at Firehouse Art Collective (1790 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley).

— Alex Bigman


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