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“The Mapmaker’s Dream”
Haines Gallery, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by Cherie Louise Turner

Marius Bercea, "Recipe for Tuesday Sunsets," 2015, oil on canvas, 46 x 75"

Continuing through December 23, 2015

This finely curated group show, “The Mapmaker’s Dream" features work by Maurizio Anzeri, Marius Bercea, Linda Conner, Chris McCaw and Pae White — artists that explore (as the title indicates) different approaches to mapping our surroundings. This is expressed through a trio of mediums: video, painting and inventive approaches to photography.

White’s video "Dying Oak/Elephant" features digital animation created from scanning an 800-year-old oak tree, which resides on the For-Site property in Grass Valley, where the artist had a residency. The resulting piece is mesmerizing and fluid; it has the appearance of traveling through the human circulatory system, flowing through a network of interconnected vein-like structures that ebb and flow in their density, sometimes breaking apart into a collection of dots. In "On the Lake,” comprised of sixteen individual works, Anzeri sews geometric shapes onto found vintage landscape photographs, invoking ideas of simple architectural plans. The angularity and flat planes formed by the thread bring to mind a two-dimensional representation of a Richard Serra sculpture, as if casting those forms onto the landscape, albeit in a fantastical way as many of the forms are in the sky or over water.

McCaw uses a camera he himself fashioned to act like a magnifying glass. In black-and-white landscape photos, the sun’s heat is intensified by the camera such that its path is literally burnt into the photo. This lends a powerful physicality to the ghostly images, which provokes reflection on the profound impact of the sun. These are both rough and quiet works, the raw burn mark cutting through the serene landscape. Conner’s photographs amount to sublimation on aluminum. These works were created in Italy and capture details of the circa 1500 woodblock for "Bird’s Eye View of Venice," created by Jacopo de’ Barbari. These seductively dark but highly detailed images effectively draw draw the eye to them. A pair of landscape paintings by Bercea add a welcome flash of color to this otherwise color-subtle show. These are abstracted and partially fabricated oil-on-canvas landscapes, rich with depth and movement. He uses color to punctuate the space, which combined with the dynamic composition keeps the eye active and engaged.

Haines Gallery

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