When: Jan. 2-Feb. 14 2015
Curating an art show around the slippery idea of love will always be a risky endeavor for those hoping to avoid cliché. But with Notions of Romance, Vessel Gallery (471 25th St., Oakland) takes a more nuanced approach to the poetic problem. The show aims to collect reflections on the more tangible feelings that surround the elusive “L” word. With a focus on representing varying perspectives, the group show features ten artists working in sculpture, painting, and photography. Among them is sculptor Gordon Glasgow, whose clean wooden assemblages are influenced by the design of furniture and household items. His “Nipple” houses a realistic papier-mâché nipple inside of a wooden box with a small peep-hole in the front, so that, from just the right angle, you can get a view of the glory. The piece plays hard to get, speaking to the ways in which distance intensifies desire and voyeurism elicits lust. Another notable piece comes from Diana Hobson, who lights the window of her home in the Santa Cruz mountains, luring moths to the glass, then photographs their vulnerable underbellies against the black backdrop of night. Hobson’s massive prints expose the small creatures — often portrayed as symbols of desire — illuminating the skeletons beneath their pretty exteriors. Other artists include David Burke, Thekla Hammond, Christy Kovacs, Walter James Mansfield, Kevan Jenson, Cyrus Tilton, and Sanay Vora.