When the local arts-and-culture Web site Fecalface.com launched in 2000, the very first artist it featured was Paul Urich. We're pretty sure that makes him some sort of grandpa in Internet time. Which kind of fits, because the San Franciscobased artist is obsessed with ancestry. In his finely detailed gouache paintings, faded faces seem to peer from a scrim of time, ghostly images surfacing from the milky lake of memory. The portraits are inspired by family photos purchased at estate sales, and their dated hairstyles and poses attest to the whims of passing fashion. In some ways, Urich has said, it's like he's "bringing back the dead." In Gone But Not Forgotten, he embellishes some of the portraits with collaged photos or painted-on masks. In one very striking work, a gray and Technicolor skull fits over the searching eyes of a long-lost ancestor. This is memento mori with hope that you might be memorialized so tenderly.
Jan. 8-30, 2009