East Bay Express Picks “Jabberwocky” at FLOAT Gallery

DeWitt Cheng of East Bay Express Reviews Jabberwocky 9/15/2010.


The whiffling, burbling (i.e., puffing and bleating/murmuring/warbling) monster may have been slain by the beamish boy in Lewis Carroll’s poem, but the Jabberwock’s galumphing comic/sinister spirit lives on in the exuberant fantasy paintings of Cheryl Finfrock and Liz Mamorsky. Finfrock’s paintings of childlike protagonists (“Wheels for Feet and Teeth That Talk,” “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” Mothra Vs. the Tugboat”)) imbue expressionism with graffiti-style raw energy in the service of story-telling, albeit with indeterminate narratives, despite their un-Victorian suggestions of Tim Burton perversity; her abstract landscapes (“Forbidden Paradise,” “Outpost”) are surprisingly lyrical evocations of nature. Mamorsky explores improvisation to generate her imagery (“Tube Sex,” “Jabberwocky,” “Catzilla,” “Shreckless”), which seems to combine both mythopoeic “primitive” art and its Surrealist-colonialist variants: “Characters emerge and are developed, sometimes deleted or allowed to morph into other creatures.” Jabberwocky runs through September 18 at Float Gallery (1091 Calcot Pl., Oakland). 510-535-1702 or TheFloatCenter.com. — DeWitt Cheng

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