There are only a few days left to catch Richard Hull at the Rule Gallery (111 Broadway, 303-777-9473), as it is set to close on Saturday. The exhibit is an impressive painting solo featuring recent pieces by Hull, a nationally known Chicago artist whose work was first shown at Rule in 1993.

The exhibit comprises three distinct kinds of paintings. Rule assistant Eric Shumake points out the chronology of the three, with organic abstractions being the earliest of the group and what might be called transcendental paintings coming next; the final set is made up of architectonic compositions. These architectural paintings, such as "Collecting" (above), a 2001 oil and wax on linen, are signature Hulls and the best paintings in this very strong show. All of the works, regardless of theme, are beautifully done, however, and make memorable impressions. Hull's lively surfaces are remarkable -- in places thick with paint, in others with the canvas barely stained -- as are his courageous color choices.

Gallery director Robin Rule has paired Hull with Boulder's Kim Dickey, who's the subject of a small solo titled Bushes in the Viewing Room in the back. This exhibit is composed entirely of ceramic maquettes of larger sculptures. Included are models for such things as monumental vases, sculptures in the form of bushes, and multi-part environments. This last type is the sort Dickey showed at the Colorado Biennial at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art last year, except that one was a stunning full-sized version.

Both shows are genuinely compelling and well worth taking the trouble to see immediately.


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