Artbeat

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

Earlier this season, Cordell Taylor Gallery and Ron Judish Fine Art merged into the new +Zeile/Judish Gallery (2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927), and everyone must have known that some of the artists they each represented would have to go. There were just too many of them.

Owner Ivar Zeile, partner Ron Judish and gallery director Gilbert Barrera divided the artists into three categories: represented artists, exhibiting artists and artists being shown the door. The first category -- artists represented by the gallery -- is the subject of State of the Union, a great group show on view now.

Most of the chosen artists are, as we might expect, thoroughly established figures in the art world. This includes realist John Hull, abstract expressionist Al Wynne, minimalist Paul Sarkisian and post-minimalist Bruce Price. But there are also a handful of emerging artists, such as Colin Livingston and Karen McClanahan. The resulting show is wild, requiring aesthetic gear changes every few feet, but it's worth the visual effort, because everything there is great.

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There were no surprises in who made the cut for State of the Union, but there was at least one surprise concerning who didn't. Six months ago, sculptor Bryan Andrews was the toast of Cordell Taylor, presenting what was then his second solo at the gallery. Now he's being let go by +Zeile/Judish. Talk about a quick reversal of fortune. I know Andrews's phallic and totemic piles are an acquired taste, but I've acquired it, so I think it's too bad that he no longer has a local venue in which to exhibit his work.

In addition to State of the Union, +Zeile/Judish is presenting The Sociable Anchorite. In this small solo, Oregon artist Gabriel Liston has created a wall of tiny paintings that feature storybook figures done in blue on white. These pieces look like Delft tiles; one example is "The Water Gushes Again" (above), in which two little boys are pictured fighting or dancing.

The shows at +Zeile/Judish close on July 3.

 
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