“In the Navajo language there is no word for ‘art,’ ” says Navajo artist Leatrice Mikkelsen. “When I learned this, I laughed. I was so relieved.” Since this childhood discovery, her art has defied categorization, as this retrospective reveals. The one constant that unifies her works—early abstract expressionist oils, stylized Navajo symbols in watercolors, still lifes painted with coffee on rice paper, et al.—is crisp, uncompromising draftsmanship. The sheer clarity of the images in “Jackalope Meeting” brings to mind the surreal precision of Magritte or Frida Kahlo. Jackalopes—jackrabbits with antelope horns—are a commercial western U.S. myth foisted on tourists. Here, the creatures appear dignified, as if discussing important issues in a field of grass. They upset our expectations, in keeping with Mikkelsen’s stated purpose for creating objects she insists are not art. Gorman Museum, 1316 Hart Hall at UC Davis. Gallery hours: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, through June 30. For information call (530) 752 6567.