December 2, 2007

In San Francisco: Ouadahi, Bhujbal, Soloman

"Driss Ouadahi: Another Place, Another Me," Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Through Dec. 8. Drawing upon a lifelong interest in architecture, Ouadahi creates a hybrid language of structural design and abstract painting that infuses the rigid form of monotonous buildings with color and light. Broad, multi-colored brushstrokes define volume and depth, but also humanize the buildings' repetitive geometry. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Kenneth Baker sees references to Mondrian, Barnett Newman, and other modernist artists who relied on the grid to neutralize compositional values. "For all its richness as painting," he writes, " Oadahi's work hints at a bleak view of the contemporary world as a heedlessly urbanizing project."

"Suhas Bhujbal: A Quiet Town," Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Through Dec. 8. Bhujbal, who lives in the Bay Area, paints images of buildings remembered in his hometown, Pune, India. Loosely painted and filled with light, the work is firmly rooted in California tradition. Baker writes that the paintings "look nostalgic next to Oadahi's: wistful for a humbler collective life and for a brighter future for painting than it appears to have. Painting itself has begun to look utopian in its anticipation of a public committed to looking carefully and appreciative of educated effort."

"Nellie King Solomon: Folded Pours," Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco, CA. Through Dec. 22. Solomon investigates movement and chance in these energetic, gestural works. Baker says that the work , compared to earlier paintings, feels transitional and congested. "In most of the five pieces on view, heightened mystery tips over into disinteresting disorder."

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