San Francisco

Jeffry Mitchell

Rena Bransten Gallery

In Jeffry Mitchell’s sprawling installation of gleefully goofy objects and drawings, his pantheistic preoccupation with art as a vehicle for the expression of religious faith reveals itself in objects and images derived from wildly diverse sources. These include a 3-D version of Ensor’s famous painting of Christ’s entrance into Brussels; a mandala of Mickey Mouse–like images called The Jesus Flower, 1991; and two truly amazing tableaux, the forms of which are loosely based on Buddhist devotional sculpture. These last two, My Pond and Joy in Repetition (both 1991), are each composed of hundreds of little plaster figures painted with watercolor and perched on lotus blossoms, clouds, turtles, or thrones. Naked and smiling beatifically, these blonde, blue-eyed little-boy-Buddha-puttis look good enough to eat.

Mitchell’s work, however, is not all marzipan and Baroque cake-decoration. In his

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