Artbeat

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

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy only recently took over as director of the Andenken Gallery (2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281), but she's already making a splash with her first effort, the tasty group show Luscious that's now on display.

There's a back story to Luscious: A good deal of the exhibit -- the sculptures by Kate Petley and those by Gail Wagner -- were supposed to be displayed at Judish Fine Arts, but that never happened, because the gallery closed before the show was scheduled to open. When Murphy heard about the canceled show, she contacted Ron Judish himself and suggested they team up and put it on at Andenken. He readily agreed, and now the Petleys and Wagners are being shown, courtesy of Judish Fine Arts, alongside Andenken artist Sharon Smolinski.

Luscious begins with several sculptures and an installation by Petley that are on display in the north half of the enormous Andenken. Petley explores light by making things that are transparent or translucent. Here her material of choice is plastic, as in "Dropping Altitude" (above), in which a sheet of polyester film has been fused to a cast-polyester-resin slab. One Petley, "Plop, No Hum," a lyrical installation, is not made of plastic but created with ready-made parasols and fluorescent tube lighting.

Wagner's fiber-and-metal installations overflow the south half of the gallery. Using her tried-and-true materials -- dyed and painted crocheted yarn -- Wagner created a number of site-specific pieces that are attached to the architectural elements at Andenken. The interaction of the Wagners and the building is not completely successful, and even the best of the lot, "Ostioles," which radiates from a concrete structural support, would have looked better standing alone.

On the walls on each side of the gallery are a group of doctrinaire minimalist paintings by Smolinski. They're monochromes but incorporate many shades of the same color. The larger ones are predominantly yellow, and the much better smaller ones are red.

The marvelous Luscious, Murphy's opening shot at Andenken, really hits the mark. It closes on October 18.

 
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