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
The Hirsts are hung together on the wall to the right in the southern gallery, which is where special exhibitions will be presented. There are two from Hirst's butterfly series and one from his work about medication. The butterfly prints are photo-based, with the beautiful insects perfectly conveyed. Interestingly, the two included in this show have radically different compositions. In "Soul of Jacob's Ladder," there's a single, oversized creature, while in "Sceptic," there's a mosaic of butterflies that looks something like a church window.
The medication piece looks like a direct appropriation of a prescription-drug package complete with its functionalist label — at least until you read it and notice that the "drug" is called "Cornish Pasty," a meat pie, and that users are advised to "take by mouth" with peas and chips. Titled "Last Supper (Cornish Pasty)," it manages to refer to both pop art and its antithesis, minimalism, simultaneously.
On the opposite wall are the four Koons, all from his "Monkey Train" series. In these pieces, a photo-based image of the head of a blow-up monkey toy is laid on grounds that are different but connected. In three of them, Koons uses found imagery as the background, on top of which is a silkscreen print of a train and a horse-drawn wagon. In "Monkey Train (Birds)," the background is an old print depicting birds, and their dignified renderings provide quite a contrast to the goofy monkey.
This small selection of pieces by Hirst and Koons is supplemented by an Emmett Culligan abstract sculpture and a Matt O'Neill portrait of a Chihuahua. In addition to the work of these two Denver artists, other hometown favorites include William Stockman, Kirk Robinson and Robert Delaney, with pieces on display in the middle gallery. Also included is a major painting by Rex Ray and, adjacent to it, an important Terry Winters. The Winters is an example of art on the secondary market, which is another specialty of the gallery. This kind of stuff, older works consigned by collectors, is very hot right now, and Judish has access to several people interested in selling their pieces. Other items of this sort, installed in the northern gallery, include a Nancy Graves sculpture and a painting by David True. Also in this space — the most inviting of the rooms, with a wall of old brick and large potted plants — are two artists that Kalmar brought into the mix, painter Myrtle von Damitz III and conceptual photographer Susi Brister. Kalmar knows both of the young talents, who live in Louisiana and Texas, respectively, and has collected their work for several years.
Kalmar is excited about being on the exhibition scene in Denver, and I predict that T will be greeted with excitement by the community. And having Judish's aesthetic sensibilities back on view? Well, that's the gravy.