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Resound: New Work by Carl Auge 

When: July 22-Aug. 22 2009

The mediasphere is a major theme in contemporary art, so Carl Auge's interest in representing invisible, ubiquitous "heat, sound, light or shock waves" is less surprising than the somber emotion that pervades these oil paintings. Here, buildings are loosely rendered, either in elevation or in oblique view, and set against backgrounds tinted in Expressionist hues: sullen greens, steely blue-grays, and acrid yellow-ochers. The black brushwork atop colored backgrounds recalls Salle, the restless movement recalls Munch's surging universe, and the rippling surface seems distorted by heat. Auge's monumental architecture keeps the energy contained, however. The flight of stone steps in "Building a Pyramid" leads skyward but remains earthbound, a spalling petrified skyscraper. The bank facade depicted in "Brown Sky" seems less a cheery brand-name product placement than hubrism on a mausoleum. Radiate and fade away. Resound runs through August 22 at Rowan Morrison Gallery (330 40th St., Oakland). RowanMorrison.com or 510-384-5344


— DeWitt Cheng

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