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Capsule reviews of exhibits

Position and Drift. Amy Metier is an abstract artist who carries on regardless of the current taste for conceptual realism. Her latest expressionist compositions are being shown off to great effect in her knockout solo, Position and Drift, at William Havu Gallery. Metier, who is on just about everyone's list of the most important painters in Colorado, has been exhibiting her colorful and decidedly retro takes on classic modernism for more than twenty years. Position and Drift is filled with signature work, much of it monumental in size. Taken together, these pieces are a riot of color, with Metier marshaling any number of strong luxurious shades and piling them on top of, and next to, one another. Viewers may be forgiven for mistaking them for examples of abstract expressionism even though they're technically more akin to neo-impressionism; there are recognizable subjects, typically landscapes, underneath all those streaks and smears, providing the paintings with formal structure and automatically juxtaposing the horizontal with the vertical. Through November 3 at William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360. Reviewed September 20.

Quasi-Symmetries. As might be surmised by its scientific-sounding title, Quasi-Symmetries, the subject of Clark Richert's solo is structure. For more than forty years, Richert has created geometric abstractions based on an interest in what he calls non-decorative patterns illustrating his theoretical postulates about the nature of reality. Say what? Luckily, none of his hard-to-understand ideas get in the way of his paintings, which can be appreciated on aesthetic grounds alone. Richert's elegant creations look absolutely perfect in the swank space at Rule. Though the newer pieces in this exhibit are notably lighter in palette and airier in composition than his earlier classic style, the recent works are clearly an outgrowth of the older examples; he creates all-over visual interest by making sure no one area is more eye-catching than any other. Richert is one of Colorado's most highly regarded and influential artists, and his efforts are invariably worth checking out. Consequently, Quasi-Symmetries is one of the most important shows this season. Through November 3 at Rule Gallery, 227 Broadway, 303-777-9473. Reviewed September 20.

Stefan Kleinschuster. For his swan song as the outgoing director of the Phillip J. Steele Gallery, Eric Shumake is presenting Stefan Kleinschuster: 10 Ways to Kill a Hero. As the title suggests, these ten paintings are about memento mori -- the moment of death. As a unifying theme for art works, this is undeniably a downer, but it's a topic that's persisted among artists for centuries. And the sobriety is lessened somewhat by the bold colors and cheery tones Kleinschuster uses to suggest the ideas of redemption and absolution. From a distance, the abstract imagery comes into focus, but as the viewer gets closer, the representations begin to dissolve under the lyrical brushwork. Kleinschuster says the paintings of martyrs from the annals of European art history were one of his inspirations, but none of these pieces literally refer to those sources. As might be expected considering the lofty focus, the works are monumental, as are the figures depicted in them. Through October 20 at the Phillip J. Steele Gallery, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, 1600 Pierce Street, 303-225-8575.

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