Anyone stuck in a love affair with kitsch knows that dalliances with the lowbrow can be overwhelming. Before long you have a mirrored curio cabinet stuffed with sentimentally idyllic ceramic fawns and are relegated to “uncultured” status. But Counterspace gallery offers an antidote: works by South Dakota artist Cassie Marie Edwards. Here, the mass-produced shiny objects (namely ceramic kittens, bunnies and puppies, all reductive in design) are elevated to something more like fine art, rendered perfectly in hyperrealist still lifes, turning throwaway kitsch into subjects of deeper contemplation—a highbrow/lowbrow conversation worth having. Recollection: New work by Cassie Marie Edwards, through November 21, hours vary, 596-2641.
T.G. Miller’s works at Kleven Contemporary seem like a throwback to ’60s-era minimalism. The artist, who has spent the past decade working in commercial print and sign shops, strips down the idea of attention-grabbing visual communication to its most minimal—line, curve and color, presented in soft blues, reds and oranges. He merges natural and man-made materials by fitting clear acrylic into same-shaped cutouts in stained wood, creating simple, pretty works that make you glad that elements of minimalism and Stella-ism reappear in contemporary form when you least expect it. Acrylic Satanic, through December 15, hours vary, 501-9093.
Just when you thought representational landscape and portraiture had been chased out of town by contemporary aesthetics (neon colors, abstract images, conceptual works, ironic narratives), here comes the Paula Livingston exhibit at Tasty Space. The series of mostly figurative works by the Washington artist takes you back to the late 19th-century French Nabis style. With an emphasis on the thick lines, heavy paint, shape and color (rather than detail), the works portray 20th-century moments, whether it’s a young girl carrying fruit through a meadow, athletes in a race, an afternoon lit by soft gold tones or working-class men passing time together. Humans Being, through November 30, hours vary, tastyspacelv.com.