Art Beat

Michael Paglia's brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

The small and recently remodeled ILK @ Pirate gallery is currently hosting Align, an elegant solo show featuring recent paintings by ILK co-op member Bill Brazzell. The paintings are non-objective; they refer to structural abstraction and use expressive geometric shapes. Most are composed of identical components assembled into grid patterns.

In addition to paint, Brazzell uses a wide range of materials, including wax, wood, tar and even cement -- as seen in the very handsome "Passage I," shown above. For this painting, Brazzell covers a thin sheet of concrete with square dashes of light-colored oil paint and then seals the whole thing in a coat of wax. Unlike most of the other pieces, "Passage I" is painted on a single panel. More typical is "Red Cross," in which five small panels, in five different shades of red, have been arranged in a cruciform pattern.

The work Brazzell shows in Align marks the artist as a distinguished member of the contemporary post-minimalist movement. That style, a kind of sophisticated and aloof abstraction, is one that has happily found many adherents around these parts in recent years.

 
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