“Lines” at Limn: The group show “Lines and Curves” at Limn Gallery — never mind that mathematically all lines are curves — warrants a visit because it contains new work by a few familiar names and introduces a couple of unfamiliar but intriguing newcomers.
Sid Garrison shows several of the obsessive colored pencil abstractions for which he is known, including an especially lovely new one, “May 27, 2005,” that quavers with echoes of traditional Chinese landscape painting.
Former Bay Area artist Robert Strati turns in a tough little wall piece he calls “Squiggle” (2005), a little arrested tornado of heavy wire and fishing line, unaccountably satisfying. It and the drawings of Janice Caswell, which seem to map private memories, bring Richard Tuttle to mind, a risky thing when his retrospective is a few blocks away at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Maureen McQuillan shows handmade abstract drawings in which she has somehow stretched and twisted tidy grids without messing them up.
But C.E.B. Reas nearly steals the show with ink-jet prints and a randomly varying projection of coursing, proliferating and dissolving lines generated by custom-written software.
The withdrawal of the hand from drawing in Reas’ work and its strange simulation of vitality make it look like some sort of turning point.