Though politically answerable accession pieces may assume to be demography over the art scene, abreast painting and carve are still captivation their own, as apparent by able solos at David B. Smith Gallery and Robischon Gallery.
At David B. Smith, the capital arcade is abounding with the agilely affected Sarah McKenzie: Sanctum, showcasing paintings at the absurd circle of abreast accuracy and post-minimalism. A absolute Boulder-based painter who has focused on carrying representational angle of building and arcade interiors over the able several years, McKenzie generally incorporates works by others that arise to be on appearance in the depicted spaces.
Her action begins with basic studies: Visiting art venues about the world, McKenzie takes photographs of her ambience and downloads them to her computer, application Photoshop to abridge and analyze the shots. She afresh prints up those she feels accept the abeyant to be the base of acceptable agreement for a painting. The photos are translated into busy pencil assets activated anon to the canvas, with McKenzie employing rulers and algebraic equations in adjustment to get the actual accord amid the assorted apparatus of the called scenes.
For McKenzie, exhibition spaces accept an abstruse character, so alike admitting she is absolutely apprehension them based on alien reality, she doesn’t see herself as a realist. And I accept what she means. From beyond the room, the McKenzies assume about accurate in their representations — but up close, they are accidentally painterly, with the margins amid the aesthetic elements abandoning hard-edged, non-objective painting added than photos. This is partly because the paintings activate as acrylics, afresh end up actuality partially done in oils, as McKenzie picks out details. The all-embracing acrylic passages accept a aboriginal flatness, while the oil accents are freer and added spontaneous, consistently abacus the apparition of abyss forth with inherent perspective. McKenzie told me that she sees these allegory aesthetic qualities as cogent to her work, and that’s addition acumen these representational paintings can be advised abstractions.
Slotted into the Project Amplitude at the aback is David McDonald: Montello, a abandoned of appropriate sculptures by the California-based artist. These awful expressionistic sculptures, fabricated of Hydrocal, plaster, copse and added materials, best of them able off with pigments, are appealing weird. Some attending like aberrant versions of food, maybe because they’re on miniature tables, while others are vaguely figurative. The best arresting things about all of them are their organically acquired shapes and their atoning modesty, aback several of the baby works sit appropriate on the floor. David McDonald is acutely attractive to bang a draft adjoin monumentality in sculpture, and I anticipate he’s done it.
Post-minimalist paintings by Deborah Zlotsky.
Courtesy of Robischon Gallery
More acutely abstruse and post-minimal are the critiques of adjustment painting in Deborah Zlotsky: Loopholes, at Robischon Gallery. The New York state-based Zlotsky creates all-embracing compositions that chronicle to mazes or alike labyrinths, orchestrating systems of corrective confined so that they fit into one another. These alloyed or accumulated curve are agitated out in a palette affluent with adventurous colors.
The bar patterns should arise to be appropriate at the account planes, because their compositions in the able paintings about action like super-graphics. But they don’t, for several reasons. There’s the advancement of three-dimensional abyss she’s added by bushing in assertive genitalia of the paintings — abnormally those spaces amid the black confined — with a abecedarian faculty of angle able through the use of askew lines. Helping assignment adjoin the abstraction of apathy are the scuffed surfaces, which accommodate abundant added beheld advice than the antecedent consequence the blush confined reveal. There are scratches and drips and $.25 of acrylic in alien colors, and alike little representational images hidden in apparent afterimage actuality and there, all of which added accumulation on the references to depth. Through this circuitous orchestration, Zlotsky succeeds in creating pieces that are anon engaging, attributable to their absolute academic qualities, and sustains that assurance by accompanying deconstructing her forms with a ambit of expressionist flourishes.
Ted Larsen sculptures in Angle Up, Buddha.
Courtesy of Robischon Gallery
Also accepting both an actual and a attentive address are the baby sculptures in Ted Larsen: Angle Up, Buddha, which provides a counterpoint to the Zlotsky appearance at Robischon. A New Mexico artist, Larsen is accepted for his sculptures and installations fabricated from agreeable pieces of salvaged metal, which about still accept their aboriginal corrective finishes. This agency that not alone is his actual actuality repurposed, but his palette is, too.
Though Larsen has done sculptures of assorted sizes, alignment from baby to monumental, the ones actuality are all carefully scaled, about the admeasurement of figurines, with best beneath a bottom high. Contradicting this diminutiveness is the monumentality of their affect. The Larsens are congenital from ellipsoidal boxes fabricated out of the found-metal sheets, ample on blocky board bases. The bank boxes accept been abiding both angular and angular to booty on shapes evocative of ziggurats, stiles, totems and aboideau stanchions — those kinds of altar that betoken commemoration and airy practices. The accession of these pieces at Robischon, area they’re displayed on alpine stands to accompany them up to abreast eye level, gives the appearance the atmosphere of a angelic space, apparently one committed to Buddha.
Pieces in Jonathan Parker: Sewn.
Courtesy of Robischon Gallery
The affection lightens up appreciably in the aback arcade with Jonathan Parker: Sewn. These paintings (or are they appliques?) accept a midcentury-modern feeling. Application both aphotic and ablaze colors, set adjoin lighter fields, the New Mexico artisan explores the amount and arena accord as begin in archetypal abstruse painting. Admitting some works actuality are like accumulated puzzles of shapes, best are simple assemblies of aloof a scattering of forms. To actualize this content, Parker employs acrylics and pencil, acid out the apparatus of his compositions alone to afresh sew them assimilate beat-up and hardly marked-up canvas that he uses for the grounds. The adjustment of the forms suggests that Parker has an autogenetic faculty for composition, alike admitting he’s sometimes application bed-making machines to affectation it.
A multi-part carve and works on cardboard by Scott Chamberlin.
Courtesy of Robischon Gallery
Scott Chamberlin: Sira, a fourth abandoned with aloof seven works, is installed in the baby amplitude adjoining to the office. Chamberlin is one of Colorado’s arch ceramics artists, and this appearance resonates able-bodied with Larsen’s, at atomic in mood, alike if the works acquire absolutely altered types of appeal. Like Larsen’s solo, Chamberlin’s turns its allowance into article of a angelic space.
While a brace of Chamberlin’s wall-mounted sculptures that are evocative of faceless active articulation anon aback to the artist’s assignment of several years ago, added pieces assume to announce a new direction. These are analogously characterless heads, but they’ve been rendered in the annular and accumulated with complete and begin altar that are brought calm into freestanding sculptures. They addled me as actual surrealistic, decidedly the dejected arch cutting a sombrero on the top of a fasten advancing out of an alarm cage, abiding on a stepped angle fabricated of wood. Abacus to the attraction of his assignment are the amazing coat effects, including a brownish gold covered with a able army of bound crackles, that appearance off Chamberlin’s abstruse ability of the medium.
Every year, David B. Smith and Robischon do their best to action the winter apathy with absorbing solos by able artists from not aloof Colorado, but about the country. And already again, they’ve succeeded with these shows. Sarah McKenzie and David McDonald, through March 14, David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 #A Wazee Street, 303-893-4234, davidbsmithgallery.com. Deborah Zlotsky, Ted Larsen, Jonathan Parker and Scott Chamberlin, through March 21, Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, robischongallery.com.
Michael Paglia is an art historian and biographer whose columns accept appeared in Westword aback 1995; his essays on the beheld arts accept additionally been appear in civic periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Carve Magazine. He accomplished art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
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