Artbeat

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

Though the ordinary fare at Gallery Sink (2301 West 30th Street, 303-455-0185) is photography, work in other media is featured from time to time. Painting is the mode showcased in Jeremiah Coleman Teutsch: Six Married Couples and One Lonely Mountain Man, hung in the formal main gallery, and installations make up Amy Bennett: Les Petit Pois, in the small side gallery. Both Teutsch and Bennett are emerging artists who have only recently graduated from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

Though technically the Teutsches are paintings, they're really more like drawings that just happen to be done in paint. Teutsch begins by projecting family photos onto white canvases, then uses black pigment to outline them. That's it -- yet he somehow preserves the photographic quality of the original sources, as in "Mountain Man Mike" (above), the best of the batch because of its iconic composition. Teutsch is part of the irony gang, so the fact that his paintings are based on photos but are imprecise and clearly hand-done are attributes that are obviously meant to be at odds with the mechanical quality associated with photography.

Bennett's installations -- a group of empty jewelry boxes on a stand, a grid of Post-It notes on the wall, a tangle of string on a nail -- also dabble in irony. In this way, they reveal the influence of her mentor, Phil Bender, Denver's king of the found-object conceptualists. But Bennett has her own take on the style -- notably, her use of origami, as well as her mostly form-free approach to arrangement.

While I was in the neighborhood, I ran over to Edge Gallery (3658 Navajo Street, 303-477-7173) to check out levels of discourse: new work by Dania Pettus, and I'm glad I did. The show, in the front space, is made up of nine large-format photo-based prints. The black-and-white images are abstract, and all have compositions made up of indeterminate shapes based on nature. They're elegant and beautiful.

Jeremiah Coleman Teutsch and Amy Bennett, at Gallery Sink, and levels of discourse, at Edge, all close this Sunday, May 16.

 
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