On The Road: Following Isabel Rucker’s ‘Unfurling’


The spare landscapes, highways, and byways -- running from San Francisco to Wyoming -- of Isabel Rucker’s Unfurling graphic novel speak loudest to me: their skewed perspectives, more evocative of emotional states than photorealistic, and the smoky, rippling vistas. The work is on display at “Unfurling: This Land” at SOMArts Gallery through Friday, Nov. 27.

The once-Bay Area-based artist (and daughter of South Bay sci-fi author Rudy Rucker) has put together a comic-book-esque depiction of San Francisco that’s both a coming-of-age yarn -- in the grand tradition of that other renowned scrolled work of American bohemian, On the Road -- and a poetic visual chronicle. And at more than 450 feet long and 12 inches wide, the inked work, which Rucker toiled on for seven years, sounds like a truly impressive feat, created without White Out and Photoshop.

Also on display at this group show: Mark Bode, who exhibits **Cobalt 60,** the latest chapter in a series of pencil drawings, and Mike Dingle, who welcomes collaborators to bring their own fodder for USA Redux, a big ole collage puzzle.

“Unfurling: This Land” runs through Nov. 27. Closing reception is on Jimi Hendrix’s birthday, Nov. 27, 6-11 p.m. SOMArts Gallery, 934 Brannan St., SF. www.somarts.org

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