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"Say Hello to Neverending": Paintings by Tara Foley 

Wednesday, Jun 11 2008
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San Francisco artist Tara Foley's acrylic paintings resemble illustrations for one of those "how everything works" children's science books. You know: the ones that sketch out the innards of men and buildings, or diagram the cycles of the ocean currents. In "Say Hello to Neverending" at Fecal Face Dot Gallery, a Rube Goldberg–esque plumbing system sprouts trees and radio towers, while a marvelous paper ship flies pennants with evocative phrases like "total silence." In another piece, a flow chart of personality disorders incorporates images of trees and honeycombs to remind us that we're all part of one intertwined system –– a sentiment echoed in Foley's sketches of coiled hair, some of which resemble snails, others of which look queasily like intestines. The feeling of kids' textbook mechanics spills from her paintings into her installations, including half geodesic domes and model trees. A door that's burned on one side and untouched on the other stands out. It's a demonstration of the power of fire, yes, but which side were the people on? It's this imaginative hyperesthesia that makes Foley's work so heart-rending, and so exquisite.

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Traci Vogel

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