Summer Vocations

More unabashedly abstract--predictable given his place in the development of the abstract-expressionist movement--are two lithographs by another old hand, the late Robert Motherwell. Both pieces were included in the Robischon solo show devoted to the artist last fall. In one of them, "Black Cathedral," Motherwell has placed a black pointed arch against the white paper; on either side and across the top and bottom are strips of multi-hued golden yellow. On the right stands a broken stripe of red. "Black Cathedral" demonstrates why Motherwell is as well-remembered in death as he was during his life.

Taking a decidedly different tack than either Scott or Motherwell is renowned Montana artist John Buck. He is represented by one of the few sculptures included in the show, "Wichita Beach," which is made of wood painted with acrylics. The piece is pure Buck, featuring one of his characteristic figures surmounted by a balanced but asymmetrical arrangement of forms in lieu of a head.

Another notable 3-D piece shows up in Robischon's back area. In the mixed-media installation "Illumination," by Denver artist Terry Maker, an old-fashioned light fixture has been mounted high on the wall, encrusted with a material that looks like mud. "Illumination" is striking, but one can't help thinking it would have been better had Maker left the light fixture as she found it instead of covering it up.

Also highlighting the back area are the prints by New York-based artist Judy Pfaff, who first came to fame in the 1970s with elaborate installations presented in SoHo. Pfaff is represented this time around by prints that combine etching and lithography. Her installations were known for their dense layers of objects punctuated by dashes of bright colors, and the new print "Heartfelt" successfully translates that style onto paper. Clusters of black ovals are set against rows of vertical script; these in turn are set against a yellow ground whose hues range from gold to a bright taxicab shade. In a word, "Heartfelt" is gorgeous.

There are only a handful of galleries in Colorado that could pull from their regular fare and come up with an extraordinary show like Implied Nature. Surely it's no surprise to find Robischon on that short list.

Implied Nature, through August 3 at the Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 298-7788.

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