In the east half of Spark Gallery (900 Santa Fe Drive, 720-889-2200) is Peter Illig's DIALOGUE: 21. Over the past decade, Illig has made a reputation creating contemporary representational paintings and drawings. Like other realists, he attempts to impart something new into the age-old tradition. In his case, he makes obvious references to pop culture, in particular the movies. And just like in the movies, Illig's pieces feature juxtapositions of contrasting visual information to lay out some kind of narrative.
In the past couple of years, Illig carried out his ideas with charcoal drawings that were more than sixty feet long. He's shifted gears for the Spark show; instead of doing continuous compositions of interlocking scenes on rolls of paper, he's done "The Meaning of Sensation," which is made up of 21 individual two-foot-by-two-foot panels and is part of his ongoing "Modular Dialogue" series.
Interestingly, Illig achieves the same effect as before, because he's assembled the small panels so that they function as parts of one piece; he also envisions the arrangements changing so that the stories change, too. Here he's lined up depictions of a young woman on a phone, a TV with its screen shattered and a collapsing chimney (above), among some eighteen others. In addition, the Illig display includes a handful of single-panel paintings and a drawing in the same style.
In the west half of the gallery is Ripe, featuring photo-based botanicals by Susan Rubin. On the wall facing the entrance, Rubin has scattered more than a dozen shots of vegetables, which are carried out in photocopy on canvas tinted with colored pencil and pastel. In front, on a sculpture stand, is a clear acrylic bowl filled with cubes made of photocopies of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and other salad ingredients.
There will be a reception on Friday, December 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the twelfth annual "Luminarias" walk on Santa Fe. DIALOGUE: 21and Ripe run through December 10; a "Coffee With the Artist" event featuring both Illig and Rubin is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. that same day.