Artbeat

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

Ivar Zeile, previously with the Cordell Taylor Gallery, which has closed, and Ron Judish, the director of the gone-but-not-forgotten Judish Fine Arts, have together launched the city's newest art hot spot, (+) Zeile/Judish Gallery (2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927). The new gallery occupies the old Cordell Taylor location, but it will probably move to the building that now houses Fresh Art, which will be closing soon. There's been no formal announcement, though Zeile, Judish and Fresh Art owner Jeanie King all confirm that they're in negotiations.

Inaugurating (+) Zeile/Judish are two knockout exhibits. In the front is the elegant Superhighway, featuring photo-based works by R. Scott Davis, an artist who divides his time between New York City and Denver. In the back is a thoughtful group show called Director's Choice, which combines mixed-media constructions by Jon Rietfors from Glenwood Springs, mixed-media paintings by Hunt Rettig from Aspen, and photos by Longmont's Patti Hallock.

Several of the Davis pieces in Superhighway are about Denver's T-Rex project. Using color negatives, Davis makes photographic prints that resemble geometric compositions with dynamic diagonals running across the middle. In most of these, several negatives were stacked on top of one another, a process that masks the representational sources.

The three artists in Director's Choice are unknown around here, and that's amazing, considering how good they all are. Rietfors delves into neo-pop by using packaged consumer products as his medium. In the fabulous "Enriched," there's a large grid of ramen-noodle packs, on top of which Rietfors placed photos of open cans of SpaghettiOs. Rettig does lyrical abstracts using cut paper encased in acrylic resin -- as in "Open…Satiate" (above) -- which seem to have their own internal light sources even though they don't. Finally, there are the engaging nighttime views of suburbia by Hallock, done in C-prints.

Superhighway and Director's Choice, both of which close on February 19, undeniably prove that the partnership between Zeile and Judish will be very good, both for them and for the rest of us.

 
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