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The legacy of humor in Bay Area art is explored through a new generation of artists in the exhibition “Tongue-in-Cheek,” on view through July 19.

The exhibition features work in a wide range of media by artists Tammy Rae Carland, Jonn Herschend, Bessma Khalaf, Jennie Ottinger, Kate Rhoades, Chris Sollars, Lindsey White and Wonderment Consortium, an arts collective composed of artists Packard Jennings, Steuart Pittman and Scott Vermeire.

Like the San Francisco Funk artists of the 1960s and ‘70s, the artists in “Tongue-in-Cheek” employ humor as a critical tool to explore complex social themes and illuminate the follies of daily life. Ranging from art-related satire to visual sight gags, their varied approaches teeter between playful and dark to examine contemporary culture with a comedic eye.

Carland, Rhoades and Ottinger explore social anxieties and power dynamics generated within and outside the art world. White, Khalaf and Sollars challenge conventional perceptions by presenting the unexpected; and Herschend and Wonderment Consortium highlight absurdity within the mundane.

“Humor in art often gets a bad rap for its simplistic take on complex circumstances, yet these works argue the opposite,” said curator Amy Owen. “By confronting the troubling aspects of contemporary life through the liberating and accessible act of laughter, we are able to more deeply examine the nuances of culture in a way that goes beyond a mere punch line.”

“Tongue-in-Cheek” is on view May 9 through July 19, in the Gatehouse Gallery at di Rosa, 5200 Sonoma Highway in Napa. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested.

Public programs

Saturday, July 11, 4-5 p.m.

Artist Performance: Wonderment Consortium; $10 general; $5 members

The Oakland-based collective Wonderment Consortium presents their ongoing project Live Radio.

Also on select Saturdays, during the run of “Tongue-in-Cheek” from 2-4 p.m., di Rosa will present a free-form open mic with Wonderment Consortium’s Scott Vermeire.

Visit diRosaArt.org for details.

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