Three new exhibits at Havu tackle contemporary abstraction
The William Havu Gallery is chock-full of interesting things to look at. On the main floor are three solos that have been interwoven into a coherent theme show on contemporary abstraction, and up on the mezzanine is a salute to the Month of Photography, which straddles March and April.
On the warren of walls filling the main level are Monroe Hodder: Romancing Color and Aaron Karp: Indra's Pearls. Though each solo has its own set of separate spaces, at times viewers need to go through a part devoted to one to pick up on the other, making them function as a seamless duet.
In her very recently painted pieces (you might feel light-headed because of the heavy linseed-oil fumes coming from the still-wet works), Hodder strikes a balance between hard-edged abstraction and the decidedly soft edges of expressionism. Karp does something a little different, depicting recognizable images in the form of spheres but using them non-objectively. The sphere, like the straight line, is from mathematics, but it's impossible not to think of beach balls when you look at these Karp abstracts — and I mean that in a good way.
Arranged on plinths throughout the spaces are the elegant ceramic sculptures that make up James Marshall: the Liminal Object. The sculptures are brightly colored but have simple shapes that are vaguely organic, which, as seen in "Yellow #393" (pictured), provides just the right combo, at least in Marshall's hands. And the sculptures provide a great counterpoint to the paintings, not only because of that obvious 3-D to 2-D contrast, but because they have unified surfaces, while those of the paintings are broken up.
Finally, up on the mezzanine, are Katherine Winter: Ersatz Luminosity, which represents 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. Winter is intrigued by neon and fluorescent lights used to illuminate well-kept if modest motels; Zhang poses Chinese kids in American-looking garb, in American-looking settings.
All five shows — every one of which is a winner — will close on April 27 at Havu, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, williamhavugallery.com.
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