Art Beat

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

Last year, the Carol Keller Gallery opened in the main space of a converted Highland area garage at 1513 Boulder Street and leased a few rooms to the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, a 35-year old Denver institution. But last month, they switched places.

To kick off the switch, Keller has paired installation artist Christopher Nitsche with experimental photographer John Bonath in her new digs. Despite the close quarters, Nitsche has created a monumental piece that fills the first room to capacity. Leaning against the wall, it is made of scores of old found boards, a few doors and windows and some metal sheeting, some of it complete with graffiti. In the salon room are Bonath's gorgeous platinum prints of cacti that were scorched in a brushfire.

In the newly inaugurated CPAC, founders Lizbeth and Skip Kohloff feature three contemporary photographers in depth, all of whom use dream imagery. Just inside the door are nighttime nudes by Peter Sahula. In the raised south space are photo constructions and other photo-based work by Lorelei Schott. Finally, to the right and along the back wall, are color photo montages in the form of still-life shots by Jessica Hines. These photos are claustrophobic, because Hines crams one image against another, as in "Prima Materia Series Untitled #3" (above), in which a flower, birds, leaves, and a found image of a child all compete for attention.

Keller has said that she downsized because she was tired of group shows and wants to focus on individual artists. Lucky for us, CPAC has a lot of exciting things planned for its expanded space.

 
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