b. sakata garo

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November 29, 2011
Critic's Pick

Oliver Jackson

By Victoria Dalkey, The Sacramento Bee art correspondent

"Painting (12.17.03) is water-based pigments on a gessoed canvas.
Oliver Jackson is an abstractionist and does works that come from a process that is intuitive, meditative and improvisational.

He has strong academic credentials. Jackson taught at California State University, Sacramento, for 30 years.

Jackson's dark, rich etchings are complex compositions in which figurative elements emerge from a welter of markings, drifting in and out of focus like things that well up from the unconscious.

Jackson's works are symphonic.

Jackson's show at b. sakata garo ranges from large paintings and a collagelike tapestry to smaller though impressively wrought prints. The tapestry done in oil-based pigments and mixed media on linen is a tour de force. Abstracted figurative forms dance across the pieced and riveted fabric, and the cloth's warm tones give the innovative work a sensual quality.

Other paintings range from smaller-scaled explosions of color that suggest rioting blossoms in dense gardens to brooding pieces such as "Painting (12.17.03)" in which a powerful, shadowy figure emerges from an abstract space that suggests a room with venetian blinds. "Painting (11.4.10)" – a piece with radiant pinks, cool grays and flashes of gold – by contrast is as warm and glowing as a soft spring day.

The etchings, many using dry-point and aquatint techniques, range from the stark white-on-black forms of "Intaglio Print XI" to the intricate assemblage of figures both spiritual and corporeal that inhabit "Intaglio Print VI." Their boldness is offset by "Intaglio Print XVI," in which a delicate web of markings gives way to spritelike figures emerging from the edges of a welter of lines.

Jackson, who was born in St. Louis, has been a visiting artist in residence at rvard and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

WHAT : St. Louis-born Jacksons's works are complex, sympohic compositions inwhich figurative elements emerge from a welter of markings. His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.

WHERE: b. sakata garo, 923 20th St.

WHEN: Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays,

INFORMATION: (916) 447-4276