Santa Barbara Artists Look Good Together

COME TOGETHER: Two of the summer’s most exciting group shows opened on Friday, June 10, in somewhat unconventional venues that are nevertheless gaining ground and attention as up-and-coming art centers. Over at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club (2375 Foothill Rd.), Natural Anthem brings together the work of Dan Levin, Blakeney Sanford, and Casey Underwood to great effect, turning the lobby of this athletic institution into a home for organic shapes, bold compositions, and breaking waves of aesthetic pleasure. Levin’s assemblage sculptures repurpose objects both natural and manmade and share the quality of having been worked over by the elements. Levin animates driftwood, porous rocks, bits of bark, old fishing reels, glass bottles, and an assortment of danglers through a mix of organization, orientation, and painting. Some are spectacular. “Waka Tanka,” a reddish brown and turquoise vertical slab of something vaguely organic, gets a slick coat of resin that renders it a close cousin to the finish-fetish objects so beloved by surfers and custom car commandos. more

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