When: Sept. 4-Oct. 31 2015
For In Concert, Bay Area artist Jay Nelson has transformed Johansson Projects (2300 Telegraph St., Oakland) into a series of large cubbies for crowds to crawl into. The wooden structures built into the architecture of the gallery function as inhabitable frames for a few small, colorful, abstract paintings by Nelson and his spouse Rachel Kaye. Their painting styles are different enough to distinguish, yet similar enough to sit with each other harmoniously — the ideal characteristics of any dynamic duo. Although this is the first time that the couple is showing as a pair, they often create alongside one another in a small wooden studio that Nelson built at their home on the outskirts of San Francisco. The centerpiece of the show, an angular cave-like hut, is what I imagine that studio might be like. In the middle of the hut, a painting by Kaye hangs back-to-back with a painting by Nelson on either side of a large net that cuts the room in half. The installation is such that the two works make up a whole, yet can only be viewed separately — a romantic metaphor for the desire to be seen as both inseparable and independent from one’s significant other.