San Francisco

Jon Rubin

Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery

Titled after Edward Hicks’s iconic folk-art painting of 1848–49, Jon Rubin’s recent exhibition “the peaceable kingdom” brought the theme of tranquil coexistence to the queasy process of growing up suburban. His mixed-media drawings, wall murals, and video installation recall the days of cloaking discomfort in bold ’70s Vera fabrics, and how the patterns and personalities locked together under one roof can often forge a quirky kind of truce.

The artist infuses his theme with a sense of an encroaching trashy future, of good kids gone wild; and it all starts with Lower Merion High School, 1981, 2002. Cheerful faces from a yearbook are traced in red pencil and layered into a delicately tangled mass; the result is a semitransparent cloud of ascended souls hovering against a white picture plane. Though once they belonged together, these graduation-photo smiles have now disappeared into an abstracted

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