Summer is the time for group shows, especially those with a touch of whimsy — which is something that perfectly describes Dimensional Shifts, at the William Havu Gallery. For this thematically organized exhibit, gallery director Bill Havu selected artists who play with three-dimensional space, either by foreshortening it, elongating it or altering it.
The exhibit includes six artists, but one of them, Susan Cooper, is the main attraction, as she has more work here than any other artist. Cooper, who has a number of pieces in public places, is best known for her signature style, which features compressed, geometric views of everyday environments, from cityscapes to interiors.
There is a small selection of Cooper's familiar chairs, including "Couple" (pictured), a pair of bronze chairs facing each other. Also interesting is "Current Life Cycle," fifteen depictions of bedrooms made from colored sheets of acrylic that have been cut to form the shapes in the pictures. Marking a change for Cooper are her recent wall-hung bronze casts of rooms that recall dollhouse cross-sections with their multiple chambers furnished for different domestic functions.
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There's a childlike character to these Coopers, which links them to the backlit shadowboxes by Susanna Richter-Helman and Mark Helman, who work as a team. Behind black-out curtains in the space under the mezzanine, the artists are represented by tiny kinetic landscapes. In them, certain details, such as a tornado, literally move across the compositions via paper "belts" powered by hidden machines.
Dimensional Shifts also includes abstract paintings by Aaron Karp, who assembles an assortment of spheres that are done realistically but have been covered with cross-hatched lines. Karp arranges these shapes in an all-over though non-repeating pattern. There are also a handful of wood constructions by Charles Counter that make reference to trees. An interesting feature of these sculptures is the use of tinted adhesives, which add a punch of color to the pieces' otherwise natural shades. Last but not least are atmospheric prints and airy, transparent small sculptures by Orna Feinstein.
Dimensional Shifts runs through July 14 at Havu, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com.