Artbeat

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

The two solos at the Edge Gallery (3658 Navajo Street, 303-477-7173) are installed together as a single show, with the dividing wall pushed to the back. It's amazing how grand the space is without that wall. It's not unprecedented to connect the spaces, but it is only rarely seen. Even more rarely does the resulting artist duet work, as it does with Alicia Bailey's Symballein, which is presented together with Joan MacDonald's First Draft.

Symballein is a sculpture show, with most of the pieces displayed on stands scattered around the space. Made of found-metal frames and broken shards of glass, they seem both fragile and dangerous -- and I'm sure they are. The most ambitious of Bailey's sculptures is "9th Key," in which the edges of the glass shards have been trimmed in lead, some of which are etched.

One of the Bailey sculptures hangs on the wall, but all the rest of the wall space is given over to First Draft, a drawing show. MacDonald has written journal entries in black India ink on heavy rag paper and then used gray washes to fill in a rectangle that suggests a page. At first glance, I thought they were etchings. And though I only read a snippet here and there, they were breezy and readable. The effect of forty-five of them (one of which is seen above) hanging in grids of three-by-fifteen on the south wall is very elegant.

In the Edge's back room is the collaborative installation SafetyZone, by Becky Haines, Deborah Horner, Dawn McFadden and Gail Kohler Opsahl. In the corridor leading to the room, the artists have covered the walls with drawings, notes and photos documenting the process. As we enter the gallery, sheets of handmade paper with feathers imbedded into them hang like curtains directing us into the main part of the installation, where a huge nest is suspended from the ceiling. The nest doesn't have a bottom, so it also reads as a halo. The angelic reference continues with the multiplicity of angel wings of various sizes that, like the nest/halo, hang from the ceiling.

The three Edge shows close on August 10.

 
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