Art Galleries

Pieces: Filipino Artists

When: Thu., June 26 2008

Foreign-born, US-trained artists make art that's barely distinguishable from that of their white-bread counterparts: their wish to compete in the marketplace is understandable, but boring. This show of five Filipino artists at Esteban Sabar Gallery, consequently, comes as a shocking relief. Lyrical, expansive, cheerful, sweetly colored sometimes to the point of gaudiness, and decorative nearly to the point of pictorial dissolution, the work is so alien to the intellectual tofu we usually consume that one feels stunned. Hardy souls, however, may wish to check out NorlieMeimban's impressionistic genre oils, including one depicting a schoolboy escaping from his books astride a flying duck; Grandier Gil Bella's photorealist oils of studio-lit still lives of jacks and marbles; Cesar Montano's expressionist/surrealist landscapes with their squidlike/armlike trees; Jose Evangelista's jazzy, Stuart-Davis-like abstractions; and Raul RocoJr.'s high-keyed "Imperceptibilist" depictions of (super)natural forces, suggesting Wols, Tanguy, and Arthur Rackham. Through July 21 at Esteban Sabar Gallery (480 23rd St., Oakland).EstebanSabar or 510-444-7411.

DeWitt Cheng

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