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"Empathy, Recent Paintings and Monotypes"

It's not quite correct to call the New Orleans-based artist Keith Perelli a painter: To create the abstract, nature-infused portraits in his new exhibition "Empathy, Recent Paintings and Monotypes," he generally used printmaking inks to paint human faces and bodies onto Plexiglas, then transferred the images onto paper with an intaglio press. Then he added extra paint and bits of collage - often pressed plants from his own garden. The results, in his words, are "quiet, solemn images that communicate both the physical and mental emotions of the figure." The bits of leaves and flowers blend so harmoniously with the human form that it's a bit jarring once you actually decipher what they are, but a second look will reveal that the embellishments make the often unadorned faces, and the emotions they convey, seemingly even more human. Opening reception 6 to 9 p.m. January 9. Regular viewing hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through January 31. Nau-haus Art Space, 223 East 11th Street. For information, call 713-261-1409 or visit www.nau-haus.com. Free.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: Dec. 5. Continues through Jan. 31, 2009

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