An oak chair sanded down incrementally until it appears to be dissolving into the air; an encyclopedia set dissected with a scalpel and tweezers to reveal layered illustrations within; a thousand-word story sliced out, letter by letter, with an X-acto knife: The 18 steely-nerved artists featured in the Museum of Craft and Design’s new show, Obsessive Reductive, have more in common with surgeons or illusionists than painters.
Rendered in wood, paper, and metal, the mind-bogglingly intricate works are all the more mesmerizing for what’s missing. Amid a recent wave of exhibits emphasizing scale—David Hockney’s 12-foot neon landscapes at the de Young, Brian Goggin’s two-thousand-pound glass pianos in SoMa—this one is a quiet marvel. Feb. 1– March 30, 2569 3rd St. (near 23rd St.), 415-773-0303
Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco