Picture Perfect

Painting and photography intersect at Havu and Walker Fine Art.

Lhotka, one of the founders ten years ago of a group called Artists of the Digital Atelier, has been experimenting with photographic techniques since the '60s. In her recent work, she has used several of these techniques, all of which are finely applied. "Breeze" is a mural-sized piece in which a multi-colored image of fallen leaves has been repeated 36 times and arranged in a six-by-six grid. It is the most full-bodied and fully realized of several botanical compositions that also include flowers and birds. One of the most interesting aspects of "Breeze" is how Lhotka had some of the leaves in each panel laser-cut out of plastic panels. The cut pieces were then mounted on top of the flat image so that the entire work has an intriguing — and lively — three-dimensional surface.

Also lively is "Tall Wave," with imagery that actually changes as viewers walk by it. In a six-panel version (an eight-panel version also exists), Lhotka has taken video images of a wave and then printed them in the multi-surface lenticular technique so that the wave seems to be crashing onto the shore. Though the same image is used in each of the six panels, in our mind's eye they seem to be a view of a single enormous wave.

"D.A.M. Building Progress," by Rick Dula, acrylic on canvas.
"D.A.M. Building Progress," by Rick Dula, acrylic on canvas.
"Breeze," by Bonny Lhotka, infrared photo on aluminum and die-cut acrylic.
"Breeze," by Bonny Lhotka, infrared photo on aluminum and die-cut acrylic.


Through January 5, William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com.Through January 5, Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, 303-355-8955, www.walkerfineart.com.For a slide show preview of these exhibits, visit our slide show gallery.

Photography isn't the only aesthetic device out there (the other half of Natural Order is filled with brawny wooden sculptures by Montana's Phoebe Knapp), but it clearly holds lots of potential in the hands of artists. And as underscored by its effect on other art forms such as painting, photography is a very big deal in the broader field of contemporary art, something that's sure to be the case for the foreseeable future.

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