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Tangle in the Garden, I would have had to pull them back on afterwards. It wasn’t just that her canvases and painted constructions were a blast of painter’s pleasure. Lederer’s show hung near two print shows, Vija Celmins’s work from the Anderson Collection and Henri Matisse’s Jazz series, setting up an unexpected and refreshing visual dialog. Lederer’s “tangles” are brilliantly colored foliage, foam, and snowflake shapes layered over a tonal substructure. Looking at them is like looking into a bush—the complexity of the individual leaf shapes is overwhelming, but if you step back and look at the plant whole, the structure is discernible. Moving into the next gallery, you can see Celmins tackling a similar problem—depicting the ocean’s chaotic surface with its underlying wave trains—in a very different way. Lederer’s work may be structurally similar to Celmins’s restrained images, but it feels more like the Matisse prints, exuberant and animated. The Jazz series is so familiar it’s easy to take for granted, but this context gave it a fresh twist. Lederer’s exhibition is up through Sunday, September 14 at the Mills College Art Museum, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard, in Oakland. For hours and directions call (510) 430-2164.

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, September 9th, 2003]

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