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January 11, 2001
Art Review

Found objects
By Jackson Griffith, Sacramento News & Review

S.R. Jones, "Flame," mixed media
No, it isn't just because the local art gallery b. sakata garo is conveniently located; it's mere stumbling distance from the SN&R, which makes it a conveninet lunchtime art fix. I'm recommending this show because it features the work of local mixed-media wizard S.R. Jones, along with abstract landscape artist Thomas Frank. Jones constructs pieces that combine found objects with Polaroid photographs altered with abrasives, paintbrushes and pens, while Frank paints stark dreamscapes. The show runs through Feb. 2; there's a reception this Saturday, Jan. 13, from 6-9 p.m. at b. sakata garo, 923 20th St.

January 29, 2001
Art Pick of the Week

By Victoria Dalkey, Bee Art Coreespondent, Sacramento Bee

*** Thomas Frank, who died two days after the Jan. 13 opening of an exhibition of his work at b. sakata garo , was a highly respected member of the Sacramento art community. He earned his master's degree in art at California State University, California, and had several one-person shows in Sacramento over the years. Felled by a massive heart attack, he was 51 years old.

At first glance, his work is the essence of simplicity. Typically his minimalist landscapes in acrylic on canvas are divided into three sections: an upper band suggesting sky, a thin line denoting horizon and a lower band serving as land or water. The surfaces of the paintings are tough and taciturn with only minimal suggestions of brushwork or use of the palette knife. They strongly asser their flatness and their integrity as paint rather than illusion.

Stemming from the work of Mark Rothko and the color field painters of the 1960s, they function as vehicles for atmospheric light and subtle color. As you look at his work, the colors - white, magenta and gray, for example, in "A Vanishing View" - begin to separate and pulsate. The bright white is flushed with pink and pale green, the gray with pink and green undertones that give a sense of transparency to the solid, emotionally muted surfaces.

There are anomalies in this current show: a chilly winter landscape with a diagonal horizon line and a gorgeous small painting of a spring storm approaching, in which the horizon is topped by a vaporous mass of dark gray clouds under a periwinkly blue sky. But mostly the paintings adhere to the format that Frank has so faithfully explored over the years - rectangles of gray and blue split by a thin, tense luminous line.

In two of his latest works, however, the horizon disappears, leaving square canvases that are given over wholly to the subject of light. "Early Morning Light" is predominately gray. Wallace Stevens' "basic slate, the univeral hue," made radiant and irridescent with blushes of pink and light blue. It has the feeling of fresh air, atmospheric and alive, so that it almost seems to breathe. "Losing the Light" moves from black to dark brown to deep, fiery red in a way that calls up a coppery night sky and the pulsating darkness you see when you close your eyes.

It seems somehow appropriate that he should have turned to these themes - the birth of light and the death of light - in his last works.


Tom Frank

At b. sakata garo, 923 20th St., noon-p p.m. Tuesday-Friday, through this Friday. (916) 447-4276.