Art Beat

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

Ron Judish Fine Arts (1617 Wazee Street, 303-571-5556) is currently presenting a trio of superb solo shows. In the grand front room is Keith Milow: drawings, which features recent works by the world-famous Anglo-American artist. Milow uses steel and copper that have been chemically oxidized so that the steel is crusty with orangey-brown rust and the copper with a rich turquoise patina. The metal oxidations are pierced by circular perforations and have been laid on sheets of paper in simple arrangements, either T-shapes or rectangles. The rust and patina result in an expressionistic surface, while the simple shapes and the perforations give the drawings a minimalist quality. All in all, a beautiful and cerebral show.

In the narrow center room is Joshua Daleigh, consisting of a group of very cool wooden sculptures (one of which is seen above) by this emerging artist who also happens to be one of Judish's student interns (he's the one with all the tattoos). Stylistically, like Milow's drawings, these plank-like sculptures skirt the edges of expressionism and minimalism. The approaches are, of course, opposites. Joining pieces of found wood into roughly parallel planes, Daleigh subtly carves abstract and even indistinct forms into their surfaces. He has a good eye for combining different woods, both light and dark, and for simple, straightforward compositions.

In the back gallery is Kevin O'Connell: photographs, made up of a group of compelling black-and-white shots by one of the city's best fine-art photographers. O'Connell has taken photos of the same telephone pole over a nine-month period. But the atmospheric conditions and the lighting make each photo distinct, even if O'Connell uses only two approaches to the composition: In some, the telephone pole is dead center; in others, it's off to one side. The abstract quality of the photos is heightened by cropping the top and bottom of the pole so that it functions as a line drawn in the landscape.

While you're at Judish, don't forget to peek into the reception room, where works by John DeAndrea, David Sharpe, Robbie Douglas and Paul Sarkisian are displayed in an ad hoc group show. The shows at Judish close right before Christmas.

 
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