I haven't had time to give it a proper write-up, but a couple weeks ago I saw a spectacular show at the Nelson Gallery at UC Davis. It's running through March 8. I'm hoping to take a carload of students before it closes out. Dave Lane, the artist, has assembled a real universe in the Nelson. Enormous sculptures made of rusted mechanical parts rear up to the gallery's ceiling, some of them large-scale crypto-portraits, all of them suggesting cosmological systems that telescope from the macro to the micro via the interlocking teeth of gears. Some of them exude antiquated lightbulbs that distend from the frames like illuminating tears. These titans share the space with small dioramas in glassed-in Cornell boxes, where miniature figures act out dialogues (written out underneath) that mix scientific inquiry with colloquial banter. The show is too much too absorb at one sitting -- all the more motive to make it back back to Davis before its run wraps up.
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