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Selective Nature 

When: May 6-June 11 2011
Two shows explore representation and reality through themes and variations. Jeanne Lorenz's installation American Vinyl imagines the record store as a museum of faux LPs and 45s (i.e., print and painting simulacra) reminiscent, in their frontality, painterly nuance, deadpan ambiguity, and discontinuous compositions, of Jasper Johns' greatest hits. Ironic metaphysics aside, pieces like "Survival Evasion and Escape" and "Everyman" also succeed as abraded-looking abstract tondos. Through June 5 (artist talk at 3p.m.) at Compound Gallery (1167 65th St., Oakland). 510-817-4042 or CompoundGallery.com. Alex Jackson explores pictorial conventions in Selective Nature (a play on natural selection?), drawings and grisaille paintings of botanical forms with their accomplished, dramatic illusionism subverted by contoured cropping; assertive non-rectangular background shapes (e.g., ornate baroque frames); and heavily textured or brightly colored industrial material (polyethylene, iridescent diffraction film, vinyl tile, textured privacy Plexiglass). Through June 11 at Studio Quercus (385 26th St., Oakland). 510-452-4670 or StudioQuercus.com
— DeWitt Cheng

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