By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
ANGST. Though unified by the title ANGST, this duet put together by Lisbeth Neergaard Kohloff at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center is actually a pair of freestanding solos: IMAGING ACROPHOBIAand NIGHTWALK. IMAGING ACROPHOBIA is Colorado photographer Andrew Beckham's exploration of his fear of heights in a series of large-scale diptychs of the Rockies. The photos are in black and white and printed with quad-tone inks on rag paper. They contain scenes that dramatically fall away from the viewer, with Beckham trying to capture that knot-in-the-stomach feeling people get when perched up high. He pretty much succeeds. The images are reminiscent of stereopticon cards from the nineteenth century. NIGHTWALK samples recent work by Oregon photographer Gary Wilson. The nocturnal photos carried out in giclee prints record Wilson's nightly walks with his wife soon after her recovery from breast cancer. Wilson uses dark colors, notably black, to reflect his emotions in the shots. Through January 15 at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1513 Boulder Street, 303-455-8999.
Anxiety and Desire. Clare Cornell, assistant professor of digital imaging at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, put together Anxiety and Desire, an exhibit of photo-based pieces that address psychological concepts. He included work from an array of artists from around the country, each working in their own ways, though much of it is only vaguely psychological in content. Cinthea Fiss takes photos of bedridden people on television. Donna Tracy uses special effects to create portraits of people and animals. Leta Evaskus does montages of nude women with their X-rays, while Robert Flynt's montages combine historic shots with contemporary ones. Mark Kessell does oddball, intimate portraits. Clarissa Sligh records a woman becoming a man. And finally, Mary Beth Heffernan photographs copies of Christ's loincloth made of chicken skin -- no kidding. Anxiety and desire are strange concepts on which to hang an art show, which is surely why the art in this show is so strange. Through January 15 at the Center for Visual Art, 1734 Wazee Street, 303-294-5207.
Better Times, et al. Contemporary painter Evan Colbert has been successfully riffing on minimalism, pop art and conceptualism for the last several years -- and he's not about to stop now. Among his most interesting pieces are those in which Colbert creates a color field based on paint chips and then labels it with an evocative word. For this recent body of paintings, displayed in Better Times at the + Gallery, Colbert uses colors and words to evoke political themes, such as the one referencing the Department of Homeland Security's color coding of terrorist threat levels. It's great. Also at + Gallery is Nocturnal Suburbia, in which Patti Hallock takes shots of the suburbs at night. There's an implicit indictment in these views of cheap materials used mundanely, but this socio-cultural narrative is offset by the poetics of the darkness that envelops the scenes. Finally, there's Cremasteric Reflex Corset, a signature piece by Ira Sherman, one of the region's most respected vanguard sculptors. The contraption is a high-tech torture device with the fine detailing of a piece of jewelry. Implicitly, it's intended to be worn by an unlucky man. Through January 7 at + Gallery, 2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927.
Filters of the Twentieth Century. Over the last couple of decades, there's increasingly been a problem with making neat and tidy distinctions between photojournalism and fine-art photography. Art is exactly what's in store for viewers of Filters of the Twentieth Century: Margaret Bourke-White, Carl Mydans on display at Cherry Creek's Gallery M. True, Bourke-White and Mydans were photojournalists, but their works are examples of fine-art photography anyway. Bourke-White did Lifemagazine's first cover, "Fort Peck Dam," in 1936; an estate print of it is included at Gallery M. The exhibit also has photos Bourke-White took for Erskine Caldwell's 1939 book, You Have Seen Their Faces, which was her personal response to photos of the rural poor taken for the Farm Service Administration. Like Bourke-White, Mydans was one of the first generation of Lifephotographers, and before that he worked for the FSA. The show could be criticized for being way too crowded, but considering what it's crowded with -- stunning images by Bourke-White and Mydans -- who cares? Through January 31 at Gallery M, 2830 East Third Avenue, 303-331-8400. Reviewed October 14.
Graphics by 20th Century Masters. The Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs is hosting this impressive traveling show, which highlights a who's who of the world of modern art. Graphics by 20th Century Masters includes more than sixty prints in a wide range of techniques, all collected by Wes and Missy Cochran of Georgia. Wes began collecting pop art as a young man in the 1960s when he was working in the oil fields in the Middle East. Interestingly, the Cochrans are not wealthy -- Wes works as a stonemason, and Missy is a public-school teacher -- and that's surely why they choose to collect prints, which are more affordable than paintings or sculptures. As might be expected, there's depth in the pop art realm, with examples by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Indiana and Claes Oldenburg, but there are also major works from early in the century, by the likes of Picasso, Chagall and Dalí. There are so many different artists doing so many different things, it's tempting to call the show comprehensive, though, of course, it isn't. Through January 28 at the Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, 1-719-262-3567.