Georgia O'Keeffe. Georgia O'Keeffe has been done to death — on greeting cards, calendars and posters. That's why it's easy to forget that in the first half of the twentieth century, she was one of America's most significant early modernists. And with her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, she crusaded for the then-new aesthetic. She visited New Mexico annually and finally settled there permanently in the 1940s, becoming one of our own, a Western artist. As is widely known, New Mexico sported a lively art scene at that time, and like so many of her fellow artists, O'Keeffe became enraptured with the American Indian and Hispanic cultures that flourished there. This exhibit, Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land, reflects the artist's love affair with the Land of Enchantment. The show comes from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, but for Denver it's been tweaked by Thomas Smith, the DAM's curator of Western American art, and by Native Arts associate curator John Lukavic. The two paired Native American artifacts with O'Keeffe's renditions of them. Through April 28 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed March 14.
Hodder, Karp, Marshall. There are three solos interwoven into a coherent theme show on contemporary abstraction at William Havu Gallery. On the walls filling the main level are Monroe Hodder: Romancing Color and Aaron Karp: Indra's Pearls. Hodder strikes a balance between hard-edged abstraction and soft-edged expressionism. Karp does something different, depicting spheres but using them non-objectively. Arranged throughout are the elegant ceramic sculptures in James Marshall: The Liminal Object. The brightly colored pieces have simple, vaguely organic shapes that provide a great counterpoint to the paintings, not only because of the obvious 3-D to 2-D contrast, but also because the sculptures have unified surfaces, while those of the paintings are broken up. On the mezzanine is a salute to the Month of Photography, featuring Katherine Winter: Ersatz Luminosity, which marks the gallery debut of this emerging photographer, and O Zhang: The World Is Yours (But Also Ours), which highlights recent work by a Chinese photographer. Through April 27 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com. Reviewed April 11.
Kahn + Selesnick, van Minnen, Maker, Starr. Entering Robischon Gallery right now is like going through the looking glass into four parallel worlds. Creepy and weird — and accomplished and elegant — describes Kahn + Selesnick: Truppe Fledermaus & the Carnival at the End of the World, an enormous presentation by the New York-based collaborators. A dark mood is set immediately by the more than seventy works on paper that cover the front room's long, tall wall. The next show is Christian Rex van Minnen: Welsh Rats. The exhibit's title refers to a mispronunciation of weltschmerz, which means "world hurt." The paintings are meticulously done responses to the old masters crossed with the surrealists. The mood lightens a bit with Terry Maker: Circumference, which comprises a small set of pop-ish installations. The well-known Maker is interested in using the mundane to express the exceptional; in this case, she does so by creating gigantic resin belts hung from enormous nails. Jeff Starr: Smile, on view in the final gallery, is something of an abbreviated career survey conceived of as an installation. Through May 4 at Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, robischongallery.com.
Reality of Fiction. Mark Sink, a photographer and arts advocate (he was one of the founders of MCA Denver, for example) is the force behind the Month of Photography (a slight misnomer since it straddles March and April). Sink has helped to orchestrate a staggering set of events including exhibits, workshops, lectures and panels, all related to photography. The marquee presentation of this year's MoP is The Reality of Fiction, an enormous and fabulous show that Sink ably curated and laid out at RedLine. Although mechanically reproduced images have long been thought to be records of actual sights (before the development of Photoshop, anyway), the works in this show — most of which are not candid photos — have a fool-the-eye component that makes them both true and false. But with only a few exceptions, most are straight photos with no digital hocus-pocus. Sink chose more than two dozen artists from around the world, but a big hunk of the entries were done by the home team, a who's-who group of lens masters from the local scene. Through April 28 at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, 303-296-4448, redlineart.org. Reviewed March 21.