Getting Real

Group shows that include several artists in a gallery’s stable of talent are summertime standards in the art world. It’s easy for gallery directors to simply pull stuff out of the racks in the back room during the downtime of the dog days. But that doesn’t mean these exhibits aren’t worth seeing, because they typically are.

The William Havu Gallery in the Golden Triangle has adopted this standard, but because there are so many artists represented there, owner Bill Havu and his assistant, Nick Ryan, have split the idea in two. For the first part of the summer, Havu presented Confluence, a catch-all exhibit featuring a wide range of styles. The followup, Confluence 2: Realism, is a much more focused feature that zeroes in on artists who work in some variant of representational art.

Contemporary artists at Havu embrace many different approaches to the rendering of recognizable subjects, including updated impressionism, traditionalism and photo-realism. There are majestic nineteenth-century-style landscapes by Missouri painter Jeff Aeling; painterly and expressionist vistas by Colorado’s Michael Burrows; and hardscrabble industrial scenes by Rick Dula, also from Colorado. In addition, the show includes still-life compositions by a trio of hyper-realists: California’s Robert Ecker, Colorado’s Laurel Swab, and Jeanette Pasin Sloan from New Mexico, whose remarkably detailed piece, “Knife II,” an oil on linen, is pictured.

The show gets started July 17 at the gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.; it closes September 5. For more info, call 303-893-2360 or go to
July 17-Aug. 5, 2009

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia

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