'SCRAP' AND 'COMMUTER'
Continuing: Aside from living in Minnesota, painter Michael Kareken and light sculptor Tetsuya Yamada have little in common artistically, yet their side-by-side shows at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts are among the season's best. A remarkably dextrous painter, Kareken spent the past year painting "Scrap," pictured, a series of mural-sized images of trash in the recycling center adjacent to his Twin Cities studio. Kareken has mastered the optical trick of creating illusions without resorting to finicky detail, of seducing the eye with juicy slashes of paint that teeter between abstraction and realism. Yamada tricks the eye, too, using a digital video projector to transmit images of spinning lines into a darkened room, where they ripple, overlap and dance in hypnotic stripe patterns. Disconcerting and delicious, their optical effects trick the mind into believing more than it sees. Kids love these shows, and rightly so. (Ends Jan. 24. Free. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Av. S. Critic's conversation, 7 p.m. Jan. 14, free. 612-870-3131 or www.artsmia.org.)