Summertime Views

Photography is a hot topic right now in the area.

Luckily for Sink, the task of paring down the group was left to Tieken, so he's been spared the worst of the teeth-gnashing by those who were left out. But not all of it, especially since Sink wound up being one of the selected seven.

Sink's work is shown in depth with a group of photos in which silhouettes of bottles are seen in front of saturated black grounds. Within the silhouettes are smokey, atmospheric effects in various shades of gray.

Also seen in depth is Susan Evans. Her signature style features lines of text in white put against a black background. The text often has an ironic content, and many times it appears to have multiple meanings, as in, "Do not touch front hold edges" and "Show proudly to others," both of which appear in "#423, 1994," a gelatin silver print.

"Shiprock," by Hal Gould.
"Shiprock," by Hal Gould.


Through August 12, 303-279-3922

Seven-Point Perspective: Photography From the Denver Salon
Through September 2
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway

The Photography Show
Through August 4
William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street

Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, Golden

More traditional are the night scenes by Christopher James and the prairie views by Kevin O'Connell. The James photos, a number of them taken in LoDo as the area changed, are gorgeous. He has a sophisticated vision that imbues each subject with a big-city glamour, even when it's a miniature building such as "Tiny House." The opposite of James's nighttime vistas are O'Connell's sun-drenched ones. He uses the simplicity of the plains, and their punctuation by utility and electric poles, to create nearly linear abstractions, none more so than "Black Earth With Poles," a platinum palladium print.

The remaining trio of Denver Salon artists don't stop after they take photos. Instead, they go on to combine the photos with several other elements for their installations.

John Hallin's "Recitative" is made up of multiple unframed photocopies arranged as a bas-relief collage that covers an entire wall. Hallin combines black-and-white abstractions with blurred color images of a figure.

Eric Havelock-Bailie's photographic bas-relief, "Gravitas," is closely related to Hallin's piece, both stylistically and conceptually; it is also monumental. Against the wall are what Havelock-Bailie calls "cameraless photographs," which are actually paintings done with photographic chemicals and photosensitive paper. Hung in front of these purplish panels are blurred color shots of nudes in movement that are digitally printed pinhole photographs.

David Zimmer's impressive wall-mounted installation, "Sleep," is made up of jars filled with water; photos of faces have been attached to the backs of the jars and are thus visible from the front through the water. The jars are intermittently top-lighted, and there's a sound feature -- an amplifier set on the garage-band-feedback setting. The Zimmer dominates the show owing to the flashing lights and the insistent sound.

Tieken did a good job of gleaning an interesting show from the large member roster of the Denver Salon, but I might have been tempted to include a few more of them than she did.

The William Havu Gallery in the Golden Triangle is also hosting a photo show. This is something of a surprise, because the gallery's stock and trade is paintings, sculptures and works on paper.

The exhibit has the rather blunt title The Photography Show, but the gallery, which is frequently over-installed, has never looked better. This is because of the relatively spare number of pieces and the use of distinctly separated areas, each devoted to one of the four artists in the group show.

The first artist is Scott Parsons, who is given the north half of the impressive main two-story-tall space. Parsons needs the room, because the photographs here have been blown up to monumental sizes -- one measuring over seventeen feet long. Parsons began with 35mm prints that were then digitized. The digitized images were sent to Zinc Studios in Las Vegas where they were enlarged and sprayed with ink-jets onto pre-primed canvas.

The photos concern a ten-year-long project the artist has undertaken to record the traditions of the Arapaho Indians on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Parsons is particularly interested in the seemingly unresolvable differences between the Arapaho culture and the Euro-American culture. The numerous shots of traditionally dressed Arapaho, sometimes on horseback in a Catholic cemetery, actually do represent the resolution of the differences. The Arapaho are there to perform a tribal ceremony over an Native American who has already received a Catholic burial. The Arapaho adhere to both belief systems simultaneously.

Parsons's photos are monumental and have a strong graphic impact, similar to a billboard -- which is surely the kind of thing the Vegas-based printer he used ordinarily does. Of particular interest are the portrait compositions of Indians and their horses, with many of the photos referring to both the old and new west.

The work of Gunnar Plake, who lives outside Baltimore, is displayed in the center of Havu's. Plake's subjects, blurry color landscapes, and his presentation on burnished aluminum sheets, are urbane, not anthropological like the Parsons. The photos look like abstract paintings, and the sheets of aluminum that surround them enhance that quality.

In the back space, under the loft, are hand-colored black-and-white photos by Linda Voychehovski, from Signal Mountain, Tennessee. Voychehovski does retro images reminiscent of the 1930s. Some, like the one that shows Ronald McDonald in a Buddhalike cross-legged pose, with a phony -- and tattooed -- Buddhist monk standing in front, are pretty funny. Others, like the two that take us under the rainbow with scenes of the Scarecrow molesting Dorothy, are a little funny and mostly in bad taste.

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