Though the title, Solitude, might suggest that the summer show at the William Havu Gallery is dedicated to the efforts of a single artist, it's actually a packed group show. Gallery director Bill Havu has selected paintings and works on paper by more than a dozen artists, all of whom are interested in depicting the landscape or some other natural subject. And all of them have set their pieces in the American West.
The artists, several of whom live and work in Colorado, are from Havu's stable; a number of them are newcomers to the gallery and are thus making their debuts in this show. Stylistically, the work covers a wide range of interests, from the neo-traditionalism of Jeff Aeling, Jean Gumpper and Ray Knaub, to the neo-transcendentalism of Lui Ferreyra and Tracy and Sushe Felix, the expressionism of James Cook, Stephen Dinsmore, Jane Abrams and Debra Salopek, and the contemporary realism of Michael Burrows, Lloyd Brown, Rick Dula and Mary Mito.
I was familiar with most of these artists, though one of the exhibit's stars, New Mexico's Mito, was new to me. Her monumental hyper-realist painting, "Water, Waves and Grass" (detail pictured) is expertly done and unbelievably realistic. And since it depicts nothing other than plugs of grass in the sand, it sort of has a minimalist flavor, too.
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The installation of the show has been done in such a way that each of the included artists is given his or her own space, with the sampling of each participant's inclusions ranging from a couple of examples, as in Ferreyra's case, to more than half a dozen, as with Dinsmore. This sequential arrangement, where one artist's vision gives way to the next, creates a marvelous flow to the show. So, as we walk through, it all seems to hold together, despite the stylistic diversity, like a good museum show.
Solitude runs though September 15 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com