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Grassy Lake: Recent Paintings by David Bates 

Some artists have a knack for creating incredibly vivid images, and Texas painter David Bates is certainly among them. Inspired by the Gulf Coast, and the hills and lakes of Arkansas, Bates depicts wildlife, magnolias and good ol' boys in pirogues as if seen for the first time, so an owl sitting in its treetop aerie under a full moon becomes a kind of ultimate owl. With dense, juicy brushstrokes, he has created endless variations of such scenes for collectors who never tire of them, but lately change may be on the way. Mesmerized by the televised post-Katrina crowd scenes at the Convention Center and Superdome, Bates became obsessed with this sudden eruption of urban angst -- a new kind of wildlife that inspired a whole new, and very different, series of paintings. Stay tuned.

-- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through June 24

Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St., 522-1999; www.arthurrogergallery.com

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