There is a stimulating contrast between the aboveground oil landscapes of Karl Brenner and the underwater and/or reflected figurative photos of Connie Imboden in two shows at JRB Art at The Elms.
The oils by Durango, Colo.,-area artist Brenner, and photos by Baltimore, Ohio, artist Imboden opened Friday, with a second reception for Imboden set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Brenner, a retired doctor, gave up surgery 12 years ago to paint full-time. His impressionistic landscapes are understated, yet vivid and engaging. Brightly lit trees beside a river interact nicely with the shadows of rock formations at “Sunup” at the “Escalante Crossing” in a low-key but well executed 36-by-48-inch oil by Brenner, to name a case in point.
In somewhat similar fashion, “Animas River Ice” and snow serve as visual punctuation on the rocks and banks of a bend where that body of water shifts from blue-purple to green in his oil of that title.
A brown, murky “Vallecito Lake Inlet” is depicted deftly and with great delicacy by Brenner, while still waters act as a mirror for gold-green trees and distant tan-reddish mesas along “The Colorful San Juan.”
Many of Brenner’s smaller oil canvases also have great vibrancy, and perhaps even more immediacy. Brilliant, sunlit, yellow “Cottonwoods” provide a focal point as “cloud shadows” play over purple peaks behind them, in a 14-by-18-inch Brenner oil, for example.
Jumping out at us from a wall of Brenner’s 11-by-14-inch works, and nearly jewel-like, are his oils of “Anvil Mountain” and a pink “Courthouse” in Silverton, as well as of “Summer Winds Aloft,” moving clouds over trees.
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Connie Imboden and Karl Brenner exhibit
•When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, through June 28.
•Where: JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N Walker.
•Information: 528-6336 or www.jrbartgallery.com.