Two Sublime

The Rule gallery proves that Mary Obering and Dale Chisman make quite a pair.

Rule has a major painting of the type, "Alter," a 1999 oil on canvas, hanging in the back. On a creamy gray ground covered with smears and smudges, Chisman arranges a number of floral and vegetal forms. Floating above a shape suggestive of a tulip's silhouette is a red rosette. The rosette, made of a radial of red brush strokes, is seen in many of Chisman's recent paintings. "Dale is always ready to take on new things. I think it's great that he's not afraid to create difficult work," says Rule.

This new direction is perhaps what cost Chisman a place in BMoCA's Colorado 2000, a juried show that just opened. There are those in the local art world -- myself included -- who believe that an out-of-state juror's decision to reject Chisman is an outrage. The show, particularly since it's billed as Colorado 2000, is meaningless when one of our modern masters has been left out.

Here's a solution: In the future, let's have the confidence to pull jurors from the pool of local experts. Or, here's a crazy thought: How about an invitational survey? Either way, embarrassments like the Chisman blunder in Boulder could be avoided in the future.

"Light Dark Duel," by Mary Obering, mixed-media painting.
"Light Dark Duel," by Mary Obering, mixed-media painting.
Print from the "Voz" series, by Dale Chisman.
Print from the "Voz" series, by Dale Chisman.

And those flower abstracts by Chisman? I'll confess to being unenthusiastic when I first saw the one at the Arvada Center and then others in Chisman's studio. But you know what? They really grow on you.

The Chisman and Obering exhibits are two of the most urbane shows around -- and both, sadly, close this weekend.

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