By Susan Froyd
By Byron Graham
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davies
By Josiah M. Hesse
By Bree Davies
By Susan Froyd
By Kate Gibbons
Heads. China is definitely on the ascendancy internationally. Not only does the teeming economic powerhouse produce all the junk that can be found in a suburban Wal-Mart, but it's also turning out important artists who have taken the contemporary scene in the U.S. and Europe by storm. Adam Lerner, director of the Lab in Belmar, the infant museum and think tank in Lakewood, likes to follow every trend, and so he asked Tom Whitten to curate a show dedicated to Chinese contemporary artist Fang Lijun. Fang, who is best known as a painter, is represented by a monumental multi-panel painting, but the tour de force is an installation of tiny sculpted heads — 15,000 of them! The simplified heads have been cast in bronze and covered in gold leaf and mounted on thin steel rods. The relatively heavy bronze placed on top of the flexible steel causes the pieces to sway in the air currents produced when visitors walk through. There are also life-sized heads depicting figures from China's current cultural boom. Through August 26, Laboratory of Art and Ideas in Belmar, 404 South Upham Street, Lakewood, 303-934-1777. Reviewed August 9.
The Illusionist et al. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting four shows for its summer season. In the main space are two solos that function as a duet. On one side is The Illusionist, made up of Lani Irwin's figurative paintings that are enigmatic and have a tight and stilted quality; on the other side are the paintings in Inscrutable Intent done by Alan Feltus, which are also figurative. Irwin and Feltus live together in Italy, and their paintings have something of a Scuola Romana flavor. Town and Country is a Mary Ehrin installation on display in the back gallery. Ehrin conjures up a dreamy and luxurious boudoir using found furniture, paint and notions like fringe. Ehrin, best known for her conceptual feather paintings of a few years ago, has in the last couple of years turned to creating environments with a feminine feel. Upstairs, Denver photo-artist David Zimmer is being treated to a ten-year retrospective of his quirky work in Ether. Zimmer is a master of combining antique-looking equipment with high-tech elements, like the glass domes over DVD screens. Through September 1 at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder, 303-443-2122.
Masters in Clay. Among the specialty niches that the Sandra Phillips Gallery on Santa Fe Drive has found is Colorado ceramics. For several years, the gallery has been showcasing contemporary pieces by some of the best clay artists around, but with this show she's gone a step further. In addition to young talents, the gallery has added works by some of the acknowledged masters in the field. Paul Soldner, for example, is represented by pieces loaned by the American Ceramics Museum in California. Soldner was a protégé of Peter Voulkos and, like his mentor, a pioneer in abstract-expressionist ceramics. Soldner, now in his eighties, spent decades working in a studio in Basalt during the summers. Other key ceramicists in Colorado being featured include the great Maynard Tischler and the remarkable Martha Daniels. Tischler does a variety of original forms, including sculptural vessels, while Daniels specializes in brightly colored abstracted figures. Filling out the roster are pieces by other noted Colorado artists, including those by Carroll Hansen, Julie McNair, Amy Chavez, Bebe Alexander and Katie Caron. Though October 6 at Sandra Phillips Gallery, 744 Santa Fe Drive, 573-5969.
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