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Friday, May 22, 2015

Gold Dust and Oil Take Impressive New Forms In Hands On

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 11:00 AM

The Dryansky Gallery - HEATHER HRYCIW PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Heather Hryciw Photography
  • The Dryansky Gallery

Miriam Cabessa's paintings are a breath of fresh air to the San Francisco market. Born in Morocco and raised in Israel, her work has obvious Eastern influences that you won't find from artists of the Bay Area. In place of bold colors and figurative images, Cabessa current show, Hands On, at the the Dryansky Gallery favors delicate, abstract details in calm tones — all hung horizontally as if they could be read like text. Where local artists' creations are "cool," Cabessa's are meditative.

Untitled. Oil and gold dust on linen. - MIRIAM CABESSA, THE DRYANSKY GALLERY
  • Miriam Cabessa, The Dryansky Gallery
  • Untitled. Oil and gold dust on linen.

Created by combining oil paint and gold dust that is then dragged across the canvas with her hands and with various fabrics, the results are pieces made up of thousands and thousands of tiny lines. When the viewer puts her nose right up to the canvas, the little details could be grooves in a vinyl record or the jagged lines of a heart monitor. But take a few steps back, and the entire painting takes on a new form: Those same details could be sepia photographs, zen gardens, or even a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains — something that's particularly fun to imagine, given that one of the main components is gold. (Which, by the way, looks particularly magical in the piece hung by the gallery's main window. Note to buyer: Invest in bay windows.)

Untitled. Oil and gold dust on linen. - MIRIAM CABESSA, THE DRYANSKY GALLERY
  • Miriam Cabessa, The Dryansky Gallery
  • Untitled. Oil and gold dust on linen.

Aside from the gold and oil images, Hands On also features several works done in liquified graphite on paper. For these, Cabessa's process is similar — that is, sliding materials across the surface with fabric. But in this graphite series, there are two pieces that depart from the look of the others. These look more like drip paintings. Although they are busier and less fluid than the others, they bring in a needed dynamism to the show. (This is one of the few sticking points in Hands On. If you're one to "get lost in a piece," the show's repetition will keep you enthralled for hours. If your attention span is less than impressive, it will be a shorter visit.) One of the drip paintings even features large patches of blank space. It's a mystery how the spaces were created, and as a result, the lack of color becomes hypnotizing.

Untitled. Oil on linen. - MIRIAM CABESSA, THE DRYANSKY GALLERY
  • Miriam Cabessa, The Dryansky Gallery
  • Untitled. Oil on linen.

There are barely two weeks left to catch the show, which, surprisingly, is located in the Marina. Known more for its killer views than its killer arts scene, it's refreshing to see the The Dryansky Gallery — which opened only in October of 2014 — in the neighborhood.

Come for the views, stay for the artwork, and run away before happy hour on Chestnut Street lets out.

Hands On, through June 4 at The Dryansky Gallery, 2120 Union, 415-932-9302.



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Laura Jaye Cramer

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