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Francesca Gabbiani
at Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, Texas
Recommendation by Annabelle Sanders

Continuing through July 10, 2010

Walk into this exhibition armed with the knowledge that some of Francesca Gabbiani's works were inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky's film "The Holy Mountain." But be prepared to have any preconceptions of 'psychedelic art' capsized. Although leaves of marijuana, the vibrant petals of opium poppies, and other psychoactive flora figure heavily in many of her captured visions, such weight is matched by the painstaking work the L.A.-based artist uses to render images with thousands of densely layered shapes of cut paper.

The vegetation-fueled displays, whether of hallucinogenic foliage or snakes or birds or insects, are refreshingly subtle and far from the possible flocked-velvet nightmares of one's stoned college years. Gabbiani's combination of precise collage and skilled object manipulation allows for rooms architected (her starkly cinematic "House of Falling Leaves" series) and polychrome wreaths woven so intricately as to repay repeated scrutiny, regardless of a viewer's state - altered or otherwise - of mind.

- Annabelle Sanders

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