(New) Disasters of War

Simon Zalkind presents a timely group show based on Goya’s work.

Finally, there are those who work in photography, and some of the most striking pieces in the show come from this group -- as do those that most closely fulfill Zalkind's vision. An example is the battle scene "French, Mohawk, British and Colonists," which is done in a large inkjet print by newcomer-to-town Edie Winograde. This photo is part of a large body of work in which Winograde photographs historic reenactments of battles, something that's earned her some national attention. Because what she photographs is fake, her topic is rife with postmodernist content that raises questions about the nature of reality versus simulation. Winograde has lived in New York for many years and still maintains her apartment there, but she's spending more time in Colorado, with the idea of relocating here. Clearly, she'd make a sophisticated addition to the scene.

Another photographer in the show who has plenty to say is Jimmy Sellars. The pieces in (New) Disasters reflect his longstanding interest in photographing G.I. Joe figures. Though he typically poses the dolls in homoerotic positions, they're seen here on an imaginary battlefield that Sellars has constructed. The two digital prints, both based on the same image, show one G.I. Joe being taken prisoner by the other. Hung side by side, they're very elegant.

There's an excellent catalogue accompanying this show with an example of each artist's work paired with individual statements written by them, giving viewers insight into how the pieces relate to Goya's originals. For further explication, the Mizel is presenting a discussion with artists Jerry Kunkel, Gabriel Liston, Gary Emrich and Edie Winograde this Sunday, February 25, at 3 p.m. in the Pluss Theatre. The talk will be moderated by Lisa Tamaris Becker, director of the University of Colorado's Sibell Wolle Gallery in Boulder.

"French, Mohawk, British and Colonists," Edie Winograde, inkjet print.
"French, Mohawk, British and Colonists," Edie Winograde, inkjet print.
"Rebels in the Sierra de Tardienta," by John Hull, oil on canvas.
"Rebels in the Sierra de Tardienta," by John Hull, oil on canvas.


Through April 6, Singer Gallery, Mizel Center, 350 South Dahlia Street, 303-316-6360.

Zalkind is one of the most respected curators in the area, and I think a reason for this is that he's so good at scouting up local talent for his exhibits. He's decided to tap artists in the community because he sees opportunities for them disappearing. With Denver gaining a higher national profile, some social-climbing curators are hot to feature the work of international artists while pretending there aren't any worthy players right under their noses. Another reason for Zalkind's ongoing success is that his shows are always grounded in history and politics, as evidenced by his encouraging artists to use Goya as a vehicle for their own anti-war messages.

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