Art Galleries

Anatomy of Folklore

When: First Thursday-Saturday of every month, 12-6 p.m. Continues through Jan. 12 2008

Johannson Project's latest show, The Anatomy of Folklore, gives us nostalgia for things that don't yet exist. Lawrence LaBianca's sculptures are of what forests would be like if God were an engineer -- roughly hewn or simply sliced vertebrae of trees strung together with winches and wire and aircraft cable. The lichen of the forest still clings to the bark of birch and oak, while cable holds them taut or bends them into arcs and circles. Evan Harris's acrylics are the copper-sepia tones of weathered 19th-century daguerreotypes, with the same shimmer of not-quite metal. They are like little folktales whose text has been lost or never written -- birds who've swallowed tea parties, Russian sailors and tattooed mermaids with bleeding hearts in open palms, sly pigs with butchers in their bellies. The two bodies of work already seem from the same arboreal world, but the close relation is verified in a slice of wood from LaBianca's studio, upon which Harris painted his intertwined flora and fauna. Through January 31 at Johansson Projects, 2300 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. or 510-444-9140.

Jakki K. Spicer

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