When: Nov. 23-Dec. 6 2009
With budget problems and Bay Bridge traffic snarls heading the news, we need at least a vicarious vacation. Oaklander Anthony Holdsworth is showing a dozen realist paintings of Oakland, San Francisco, the wine country, Italy, and Mexico. With picturesque scenes rendered in summery Monet-ish palettes, these are genial paintings: The diptych “Ceago Panorama” provides a sweeping view of rolling meadows and vineyards above a tranquil San Francisco Bay framed by blue mountains; “La Stalla, Tuscany” depicts an ancient stone farmhouse; “Dragon Boats at Jack London Aquatic Center” may suggest Venetian gondolas to italophiles. Yet some of the paintings reflect current events: “Storm Clouds over the Chronicle” refers to financial storms as well as the weather page; and the two-thirds-completed “Oakland Global Warming Triptych” imagines downtown gradually deluged. Selected Works runs through December 6 at Caffe 817 (817 Washington St., Oakland). 510-271-0778.