The idea of the Wild West, both in history and in cultural constructions, conjures up a whole mess of issues. Well before Sacramento had smog and sports bars, people romanticized the area west of the Mississippi River, which truly was a wild and lawless land. The real culture was, I’m sure, quite fascinating, but fast-forward several generations to the suburb-exploding cities firmly established in the real West, and you’ll find TV and movies as well as books defacing them and remanufacturing them with a new style all their own. Now artists in this post-postmodern world (or whatever critics are calling today) are trying to make sense of it all. This is happening at Cockeyed Cowboys and The Early West, a pair of shows this month at the Solomon Dubnick Gallery, at 2131 Northrop Avenue. Artists include Gabriel Paolieri, John Berger, Eric Dahlin, Lawrence Dumas, Tom Gracy and Myron Stephens, who play with stereotypes and reality in strange, humorous and serious ways—each of them with his own take.