When: July 29-Aug. 17 2008
Since we glue words together these days to form traincar neologisms, ARTiFACTS is a nice reverse-engineering of "artifact," combining artfulness/artifice and facticity/factuality -- and adding a dollop of i-era pizzazz (is iArt far behind?). Three artists at Berkeley Art Center use or describe real-world elements in their ArtManuFactures. Mary Black's abstract paintings, metaphors for memory, exploit encaustic's ability to suspend collage elements beneath a seductive surface; odd bits of arcane imagery -- shadow puppets, palmistry, fish, Brer Rabbit-- swim beneath her distressed, painterly surfaces. Kirk Crippens' photographs of Treasure Island's decommissioned naval base reveal the beauty of decay ("Phonebook," "Telephone Booth") and the humor in strange juxtapositions ("Red Wagon," "Bus Stop"). Finally, inspired by natural history and speculative fiction, among other things, Linda Race assembles mixed-media sculptures, collages, and books into miniature treasure troves of prized poetic images, objects, and words. Through August 17 at Berkeley Art Center (1275 Walnut St., Berkeley). BerkeleyArtCenter.org or 510-644-6893.