Artbeat

Brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

Patti Cramer's Spring Fever opened about two weeks ago at the Saks Galleries (3019 East 2nd Avenue, 303-333-4144), and though it still has two weeks to run, there are only a handful of pieces left in the gallery. Unfortunately, the practice at Saks is to allow patrons to remove purchases before the end of the show, and about two-thirds of the pieces by the well-known Denver painter sold immediately, many of them even before the show's opening.

Spring Fever, as originally installed in both of the main-floor galleries at Saks, featured examples of all the many subjects that Cramer paints. There were some landscapes, some portraits and several paintings of horses, but most of the pieces concerned Cramer's favorite topic: social interaction. Cramer depicts people eating at restaurants, coming out of buildings in groups and walking on the street with their dogs, as in "Pride in Their Stride" (above). She has frequently said that this represents the influence of Italian painting; it's important to note that Cramer studied in Florence.

In spite of the Italian references, her style is expressionist, and she emerged in Denver in the 1980s as part of the rise of neo-expressionism. Unlike many of her contemporaries, though, Cramer is still around -- and more successful than ever, as exemplified by the few paintings still on display at Saks through May 31.

 
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