It's always an inspired idea to do a show that pairs a teacher and a student, because the relationship provides a lot of food for aesthetic thought. But this connection, which is both personal and professional, is only one reason there's plenty to ponder in the intriguing Luis Eades & Margaretta Gilboy, now on display on the first floor of the William Havu Gallery (1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360.)
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Though Eades, as the teacher, is appropriately given first billing, the works by his former student, Gilboy, are up first. Gilboy may be in the role of the student for this show, but she's no novice and has an exhibition track record dating back to the early 1980s. Her works here include a group of recent watercolors and several older paintings. Her style is contemporary representational, and her subject matter is the quirky still life or realistically rendered interior view. But her interest in realism doesn't mean that her compositions are easy to understand; in fact, they can be very ambiguous, as in "Egli! Lo!" (above), an oil on linen in which bicycle pumps and an art magazine collide on a scrap of pink fabric.
The work of Eades, which is installed in the gallery's center spaces, goes beautifully with Gilboy's, as it should -- he was her mentor. Gilboy may have exhibited for two decades, but Eades has her beat by a mile, having had his first local exhibition more than forty years ago at what was called The Gallery, a legendary spot in Denver's 1960s art world. The Eades paintings at Havu mostly date from the 1990s, but a few were done in the past year or so, and a few others are brand-new. Most of these meticulous representational paintings are depictions of statically posed puppets on brilliantly lighted stages.
In addition to Luis Eades & Margaretta Gilboy, Havu is presenting a small solo, Rick Dula, on the mezzanine. The show features photo-realist urban and industrial landscapes by Dula, a recent California transplant. They're so finely detailed and complicated that he must be a fanatic with a brush in his hand.
The exhibits at the Havu Gallery both close on January 3.