Mark Dickson and Michael Clapper

William Havu Gallery

The William Havu Gallery (1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360) is hosting a great pair of solos for the holidays: Mark DicksonandMichael Clapper. The shows have been installed on the first floor, with Dickson's classic modernist paintings hung on the walls and Clapper's equally classic modernist sculptures displayed on the floor.

Dickson has been working in the area for the past thirty years, but a lot of people have never heard his name because he rarely exhibits. It's been eight years since he was the subject of a single-artist offering in town. For this show, Dickson seems to be riffing off of mid-century New York School abstraction with his large paintings and small monotypes. Like his aesthetic mentors, he uses heavy smears of color to create atmospheric illusions. The Dickson paintings could be described as non-objective corollaries to impressionist landscapes. This lyrical atmospheric quality is what makes a piece such as "Untitled, 130" (above) so easy to look at.

The sculptures by Clapper work perfectly with the Dickson paintings. Clapper, who lives and works in Denver, employs simple organic shapes in his sleek sculptures. These are quite different from works he did earlier, when geometric shapes pierced the pieces, as in "Camino," at the Municipal Services Complex, or "Celestial Echo," which stands right outside Havu's front door.

Clapper recently took a trip to Japan, and his new works inside the gallery have a distinct Japanese flavor. Many recall traditional Japanese gate standards, in which a curved element is mounted on top of a shaft.

Mark Dickson and Michael Clapper at the William Havu Gallery run through January 1.

 
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