A brilliant, big-hearted fun-house of an exhibit, Parenthesis takes on the theme of parents and children with a winning directness. Jennifer Zeyl has recreated three staircases from her childhood home, which makes going through the show like wandering an elaborate stage set. The homey, Middle America details of Zeyl's oversized recreations—mail slot, ugly light fixtures, kitschy wall hanging—set a mood of displaced domesticity that brings out the goofy, welcoming vibe of Roy McMakin's gallery design as never before. The videos that form the heart of the show (there are also photos and a freestanding wall built by a father-and-son team) may not exactly be my cup of low-budget obscurity, but for once it somehow feels meaningful to sit and puzzle out (for example) the video of Neil Goldberg's parents reading his dreams—and not just because of the fantastic, loungey couches. Parenthesis marks the first time at Bill and Ruth True’s gallery that individual works can be seen so clearly as part of a coherent sensibility on the part of the collectors: funny, absurdist, open-ended, and full of sentiment without being sentimental. DAVID STOESZ

Thursdays-Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Starts: Sept. 26. Continues through Dec. 19, 2009

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