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The Instinctual Systems of Free Will : Oil Paintings by Amy McKinnon 

Amy McKinnon's new series of paintings, The Instinctual Systems of Free Will, explores the ways in which the world around us is organized into natural or man-made systems. If this sounds like an unusual project for a painter, she approaches it with a system of her own. One gallery is filled with small, square canvases clustered to highlight their eclectic subject matter, everything from skin cells and fat molecules to bridges, electronic and irrigation diagrams. Her larger paintings reveal a more traditional approach to the still life, but these too involve unorthodox juxtapositions of objects in compositions that display her dexterous touch with a brush. An adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York as well as at Tulane, McKinnon was recently awarded a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. -- D. Eric Bookhardt Through May 26

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 841 Carondelet St., 522-5471; www.jonathanferraragallery.com

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