Art Beat

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

Exhibition director Jason Thomas keeps up the pace at the Market Street Gallery@Guiry's by putting up one great show after another. Right now he's highlighting two talented artists who create sculptural installations that incorporate ceramics. On the left is Strands Pathways Gravity, featuring wall-hung and floor-bound sculptures by Denver's Martha Russo; on the right is Sparks, with works by Seattle's Nancy Blum.

Russo's abstract forms are based on organic shapes, many of which are suggestive of the internal organs of the body. This reference is further underscored by the many brown and red accents that imply blood and other bodily fluids.

Though Blum also uses organic shapes, she combines them with semi-geometric elements, glass, ready-made machine parts and hardware as in "three discs" (left). Some of her impressive, wall-mounted sculptures hang from brackets that have been arranged in an ordered progression across the back wall. (There are so many of these pieces that arranging and installing them must have taken a lot of time and work.) Blum was also one of the stars up at the Arvada Center, where her installation made of porcelain, plastic and steel wire stole the show.

The two exhibits at Guiry's have attracted hundreds of visitors, a big increase over previous offerings at the still-emerging gallery. But there's time for more people to drop by, since the exhibits don't close until April 17.

 
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