Susan Goldstein: Coming Home and Judy Anderson: Going Home

The Singer Gallery scores again with this set of solos.

Situated aesthetically somewhere between her photos and her collages is the computer-based montage from 2003's "Good Versus Evil" series. At the time, Goldstein was predicting war with Iraq as shown in a billboard-sized piece called "Oversimplification." In it, she paired an image of Saddam Hussein as it appeared on Iraqi currency with an ersatz-old-master-style avenging angel from her collection. She scanned both into a computer and printed out an enlargement in which the angel, sword in hand, descends from the sky to smite Saddam.

I've admired Goldstein's work for a long time, but the Singer retrospective gave me new insight into the nature of her oeuvre. She's really several different artists all in one -- and highly proficient in whichever guise she takes on. Though not always completely successful (but nearly always), Goldstein's pieces are relentlessly thoughtful and consummately crafted.

In the smaller Cooper Gallery, Zalkind installed a fitting companion exhibit, Judy Anderson: Going Home, which is filled with unusual pieces on paper and works constructed from paper. When Zalkind asked Goldstein to suggest an artist whose work she admired, she chose Anderson, who is the director of PlatteForum, an innovative art-education facility that pairs accomplished artists with kids for classes, workshops and exhibitions.

"Sixth Sense," by Susan Goldstein, collage with found imagery.
"Sixth Sense," by Susan Goldstein, collage with found imagery.
"Fiore Gemelli," by Judy Anderson, mixed-media collage.
"Fiore Gemelli," by Judy Anderson, mixed-media collage.

Details

Susan Goldstein and Judy AndersonThrough December 31, Singer Gallery in the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, 350 South Dahlia Street, 303-316-6360.

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Anderson's body of work was inspired by a walk she took through the Denver Botanic Gardens with her friend, poet Ginny Hoyle. The use of plants and poetry as images and content, respectively, is not overtly apparent in the pieces, but once we're clued in, it's impossible to avoid thinking of them. The artist's use of sinuous lines clearly refers to vegetation -- in particular, flowers -- and the sentences and phrases on some may be read as poems. Anderson stacks cut and torn paper in flat layers for mixed-media collages such as "Fiore Gemelli" and organizes them in a fully three-dimensional way for bas-relief constructions like "Tableau Rousseau." I though these were great in the way they suggested corsages from outer space.

In so many ways, the Singer is a modest place. The gallery proper is simply a large room with an angled wall down the middle, and the Cooper is even worse, with only two usable walls. Plus there's the tiny budget. But somehow, Zalkind, with the help of many of the area's most interesting artists, is able to step up and do shows that are as good as any in the area.

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