Lisa Dinhofer, Kaleidoscope, 2009, oil on wood panel, 48 inches diameter
The show is titled "In the Round" because all the paintings are round -- get it? Get it? In lesser hands this might look simply gimmicky, but in Lisa's -- okay, it's a bit gimmicky anyhow. I'm not sure why she chooses round panels over the typical rectangle but I guess it's okay. Certainly when she's concentrating on spheres or marbles or planets or whatever they are the round panels make some sense, and she clearly likes the swirling vortex motif -- or is it the exploding singularity? Hard to say. Most of her paintings (and the couple of drawings in the show, too) remind me of looking down into those coin funnel displays in the science museum, you know where you donate your loose change for the fun of watching it roll elegantly around and around and down and down until it drops into the hole at the bottom and into some charity's bank account with a plunk.
Lisa Dinhofer, Light Travelers #1, 2007, oil on wood panel, 44 inches diameter
And, yeah, it's a bit gimmicky. There's a feeling that Lisa's hit upon a successful formula and she's repeating it with slight variations. But you could say the same about Chopin; in fact it's not a bad comparison. Like Frédéric's little pieces, Lisa's paintings are charming, disarming, harmless diversions -- not deep, not earthshattering, not overly exciting, but well-designed clockwork entertainments.
There are a couple of drawings on display where Lisa works in colored pencil on black paper; these reminded me so much of drawings my father did for me when I was a kid -- in particular a drawing of the Enterprise from Star Trek amidst planets of his own invention -- it almost made me tear up. So maybe I'm biased that way, too.