The influence of the Headlands is clear in Michael Hall's work, especially in the pieces recently on view at Patricia Sweetow Gallery. An impressive suite of paintings depicted abandoned and decaying bunkers, watchtowers, and guardposts, some tagged by graffiti artists and all set against those stunning hills and oceanside cliffs I love so well. No surprise then to find out Hall was a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center a few years back. Though they have a documentary feel to them his images are too painterly to be completely photorealistic, and it was a treat to get up close to the canvases and see the care with which he'd detailed every chain link in a fence or the subtle reflection of the sky in a puddle. Hall also had installed a life-size, partially-buried concrete bunker in the gallery for the show with real grass growing on top and a field recording playing inside that nicely foreshadowed an experience I was to have out in the Headlands in the rain yesterday (more on that later). This recent series continues Hall's previous explorations of military imagery and his interest in history, and I am curious to see if he will choose to stay on this particular topic or, if not, what it will evolve into next.