Art Beat

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

Four provocative shows now occupy the discrete spaces at Pirate.

In the main gallery is an installation by Kathy Hutton titled White Towers. Based on a pictured farm structure, parts of this ambitious piece, which includes nine metal and paper towers, are quite nice. For instance, thereís the vaguely seasonal shredded paper in white, orange and yellow on the floor, as well as the cast and painted pumpkins and gourds arranged on top, which are really neat.

In the Associatesí Space, Keeley Preston is exhibiting a group of small portraits in oil on canvas called Friends & Lovers. Prestonís painterly style, all heavy globs of dripping paint, has been glazed to a high sheen. Her rendition of depth and shadow is very interesting, even after we notice that sheís taken her cues from paint-by-number paintings.

Around the corner in the Treasure Chest is a cogent little untitled installation by Pamela Hawkins. For this piece (seen above), Hawkins has partly covered the floor with colored sand, or maybe even powdered pigment. Hanging from the ceiling are red terra-cotta vessels evocative of bee hives. A low, altar-like table sits at the back of the small room. Itís very elegant.

Up front, in the totally autonomous ILK@Pirate, Bill Brazzellís Surge presents the type of modular paintings for which heís been recognized of late, along with a couple of transitional paintings, one dark and murky, the other bright and light-filled.

All four of these solos come to a close on Sunday. -- Michael Paglia

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