Some of the paintings in "More Than a Perfect World" share common themes concerning human invention bordering on folly. In several paintings Kimura, a native of Japan who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Sjovold, who teaches studio art at University of Richmond, fixate on cars and transportation. But there is an inexplicable rift between the dry qualities of the work following these themes and the rest of the show.
Obviously proficient in and enamored by the act of painting, Sjovold's contributions are most interesting when the artist is as engrossed in the rendering of the image as he is in the ideas behind them. His car images appear inspirationally and visually flat next to both his paintings of rocks that he observed in the Mohave Desert and his images of rock ponds painted at garden shops.
Richmond artist Chris Chase's wood sculpture combines the ridiculous with the sublime. Chase's irreverence for subject matter (a riot of abstract and recognizable forms rendered sometimes in caricature and sometimes in hyper-realism) contrasts with the seriousness with which the pieces are executed. Frequently, the artist literally stacks imagery as if it were the stuff of memory and imagination. Here the artist's ambitiously conceived and beautifully executed work conjures memories of doll parts, stacking toys, and Philip Guston paintings. Paulette Roberts-Pullen
"More Than a Perfect World" runs through Feb. 22 at 1708 Gallery, 319 W. Broad St.
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