Art Galleries

Bestiae Mundi

When: June 16-Aug. 3 2011

Los Angeles sculptor Ron Pippin has a longstanding interest in integrating human culture, past and present, into the natural world, so combining animal skeletons with scientific/mechanical apparatuses seems a natural evolution of his personal mythology. Bestiae Mundi (Animals of Earth) simulates an old-school natural history museum with its bottles, vitrines, and labeled specimens, but its mechanized-looking skeletal bobcats, rats, turtles, snakes, warthogs, wallabies, goats, and storks, some inscribed with the names of endangered species, are decidedly contemporary (though perhaps not for all contemporaries); they're assemblages of "dark materials" that serve as "visual prayers." Don't miss the small, suspended "Icarus," a skeletal bird posed as if falling, reminiscent of a splayed Archaeopteryx fossil atop its limestone bed, sporting leather wings. Book signing for Noah Charney'sTracks and Signs of Insects on June 16; bone-cleaning workshop by Ron Cauble on June 30.Bestiae Mundi runs through August 3 at Bone Room (1573 Solano Ave., Berkeley). 510-526-5252 or

DeWitt Cheng

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