Art Beat

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

One of Gallery M's specialties is photography, particularly contemporary prints by the giants of black-and-white photojournalism from the mid-twentieth century. The gallery's current exhibit, Andreas Feininger, is the latest in a long line of solo shows devoted to this important generation of photographers.

Feininger, who died in 1998, was the son of American painter Lyonel Feininger, who taught at the Bauhaus school in Germany; the younger Feininger studied architecture at the Bauhaus before turning to photography in the 1930s. He joined the staff of Life magazine in 1943, and continued working there into the 1960s. (The show comes courtesy of the Time-Life studio.) Feininger invented photographic equipment, Gallery M director Myrna Hayutin points out, and he made his own cameras and lenses. He used these special tools to give his photos a deep, sharp focus and create crisp details.

Although Feininger was primarily interested in recording expansive city scenes and all-encompassing crowd shots, he was also intrigued by objects of industry, so he photographed bridges, boats and locomotives. This fascination with modern life resulted in an unusual time-lapse photo, "Navy Helicopter, 1949" (seen above), in which Feininger recorded an experiment that involved mounting landing lights on the rotors.

The show also includes recent limited-edition pieces and some signed originals, and continues through January 15 at 290 Fillmore Street, 303-331-8400.

 
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