Recession, renewal - Page 2

Larry Rinder transforms the Berkeley Art Museum's secret treasures into a "Galaxy"
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Helen Levitt, New York, 1942

There are wave-like rhythmic patterns to the shifts between large-scale and miniature pieces.

A great sense of detail or flair has been given to the matter of framing many of these works, and Rinder's use of framing extends to the show itself, which begins and ends with metallic or kinetic sculptural works that evoke Peter Selz's 1966 Berkeley Art Museum exhibition "Directions in Kinetic Sculpture," while making a case for the tactile today. "Galaxy" begins with spinning metal discs and white button of Harry Kramer's 1966 Jorg's Chair, and closes with Edward Krasinski's well-titled 1964 Perpindiculars in Space and Vassilakis Takis' 1962-63 Tableau magnetique. In between these, there is a sense of queer flirtation and enjoyable perversity, thanks to the Caravaggio-esque crotch-pointing of Guiovanni Caracciolo's 1610 oil-on-canvas The Young Saint John in the Wilderness, the eerie singed fringes of David Dashiell's Dionysian 1992 Study for Queer Mysterties, the deathly delicacy of D-L Alvarez's 1992 "In a Different Light" contribution Shawl (a net made of hair that likely degrades or is at least altered each time it is shown or moved), and a 1947 foam breast by Marcel Duchamp which asks to be touched.

Associations aside, "Galaxy" also is remarkable simply for exposing works so powerful that they stand alone. Such is the case with a 1955 untitled painting by Clyfford Still that takes the visceral and mortal concerns of the show into its deepest sense of experience. Gazing at this work is like passing through a threshold of elemental muck. In Still's colors, beauty and horror entwine.

GALAXY: A HUNDRED OR SO STARS VISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE

Through Aug. 30

Berkeley Art Museum

2625 Durant, Berk

(510) 642-0808

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

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