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Laura Van Duren: Not for Sale

September 2010


Exhibition dates: September 2 – 25 2010

Opening Reception: Friday September 3 from 6-9pm (in conjunction with Oakland Art Murmur)

Artistsメ Talk: Saturday September 4 2010 2:00 pm. Meet the artists and hear them talk about their work

Mary V. Marsh | Everyone Needs a Story

mary marsh

Mary V. Marsh Lots of Readers Bay Area 5/27/10 2010 linocut on newspaper 22ヤ x 23ヤ

Looking for meaning in patterns of everyday life artist Mary V. Marsh records moments and collects artifacts from her daily activities to explore issues of media memory and persuasion.

Drawing in a sketchbook on her daily commute Marsh records people reading–engaged in their private experience within the public space. The drawings are transformed into relief prints that are hand-printed on discarded library cards newspapers and book pages. Marsh also prints over newspaper transfer on fine print paper. The materials and techniques used evoke a history of printing suggest nostalgia for expiring mediums and chronicle the changing formats of reading. In Everyone Needs a Story Marsh reflects on her need for reading and how the medium conveys the message. The ever-changing world of digital communication makes the artist anxious while the static print on paper provides comfort a relic of another time.

Mary V. Marsh was born in Portland Oregon and has been living and making art in the Bay Area since 1982. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. She has exhibited in many venues in the Bay Area with solo shows at: the San Jose Museum of Art Berkeley Art Center and San Francisco Public Library Skylight Gallery. She makes multiples and artistメs books under the imprint of Quite Contrary Press.

Mary Marsh’s website

Laura van Duren | Not for Sale

Van Duren

Laura van Duren 2010 Truth Scope 12メx7メx7メ paper and steel

In Not For Sale Laura van Duren introduces her most recent sculpture drawings and a large installation that explore the current state of slavery and personal responses to confinement.

A twelve-foot interactive sculpture made of steel and paper dominates the space of this solo exhibition. The juxtaposition of these opposing materials illustrates the strength and weakness that exists in the human condition. Van Duren explicitly references struggle by using antique books about war slavery and personal conflict to create a large paper cone that rises from five-foot steel legs welded into the shape of tree branches. Viewers are invited to climb into the sculpture and stand inside the paper cone. Once under the cone they find themselves inside a bird cage looking out to see a flock of birds escaping.

Van Duren will also be displaying smaller works made from recycled cast-offs from a suburban landfill. Old drawers from kitchen remodels are transformed into wall sculptures that depict birds interacting with their entrapment. Confinement and regeneration are continuing themes in this body of work.

In recognition of the current reality of human trafficking in the San Francisco Bay Area and the world van Duren will donate a percentage of sales from this exhibition to the nonprofit organization Not For Sale. The Not For Sale campaign equips and mobilizes "smart activists" to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. To learn more about Not For Sale go to: http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/about.

Laura van Duren was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania which has a rich history rooted in the steel industry. After receiving her B.F.A. with an emphasis in painting and illustration from Carnegie Mellon University she continued to find her niche as an artist working as a graphic designer an art school teacher and a public health illustrator in Kenya and Costa Rica. Van Duren has been sculpting with clay for the past 20 years however in the last 4 she has returned to her "steel" roots by welding and casting in iron bronze and aluminum. These mold-making adventures have led her to experiment with castings resin sugar salt and any other medium that will cooperate.

Laura van Duren’s website


Maya Kabat Charlie Milgrim Joan Weiss | Strange Nature

Mercury 20 Gallery is pleased to announce Strange Nature a group show by gallery artists Maya Kabat Charlie Milgrim and Joan Weiss. The show explores uncanny aspects of nature through painting drawing and sculpture.


Maya Kabat Break the Lake #6 2010 drawing

Maya Kabat presents drawings evolved from an interest in language and numbers as systems of symbolic abstraction. Kabat’s work relates to nature and natural laws as well as the human need to structure and order the universe; to tally quantify order and link. In the world of these drawings time and space numbers and language are constructs that bend change and dance to rules not fully understood. These works play with a fantasy of space-time that is based in joy beauty and order.

charlie milgrim

Charlie Milgrim Yin Yang Pups 2010 polyester photo: Pons Maar

Charlie Milgrim explores dissects and reconfigures perceptions of stuffed animals. Abandoning an ironic distinction between fake furry creatures and warm cuddly animals the underlying theme of this work addresses consumerism in desperate twisted and unnatural times.

joan weiss

Joan Weiss Reckless Blooms 2009 oil on canvas photo: Tracy Bugni

Joan Weiss’s recent paintings explore the processes of growth and decay in the natural world. Her large richly colored works exploit the possibilities of oil on canvas with layers of underpainting and transparent glazes. Densely packed teeming with plant and flower-derived forms there is a sense of ripeness teetering on the edge of dissolution. Here nature beckons and threatens as beauty struggles with excess in an overgrowth of reckless blooms.

Mercury 20 Gallery

475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
Tel: 510-701-4620

Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt