Anderson has also created an installation of a bedroom, complete with bed, nightstand, a lamp, a mirror and a pair of red high-heeled shoes. One creepy aspect is the use of wads of human hair covering the bedspread. The installation — or the bed, at least — provides the setting for a performance that was recorded in a set of photos hanging nearby. With this show, and others I've seen by her, Anderson proves she's one of the city's up-and-coming talents.

There's a similar pairing of artists at Walker Fine Art. Altered features Mark Castator, who creates metal abstract sculptures, and Marie Vlasic, who carries out hyper-realist portraits that are astounding technically.

Castator, who lives in Boulder, is a master with welded metal, and is best known for his marvelous spheres and columns made from small chunks of sawed steel tubes. His pieces at Walker, however, are very different formally. He has written that he is influenced by abstract expressionism, and that relationship is not hard to understand. The elements he uses to make the sculptures — cut metal tubes mounted sideways, just like in his spheres and columns — have been freely assembled, aping the instinctual sense for composition associated with abstract expressionism. The overall forms are like puffs of smoke, meandering up from the floor. And because the cut tubular metal is mounted sideways with the open end facing out, there's lots of negative space, which heightens the sense of lightness. But they actually must be very heavy since they are made of steel, so they're simultaneously delicate and monumental. This is a neat visual trick.

"Candice II," by Marie Vlasic, oil on canvas.
"Candice II," by Marie Vlasic, oil on canvas.

Details

Through July 3 at Artyard Contemporary Sculpture, 1251 South Pearl Street, 303-777-3219, www.artyardsculpture.com.Through July 4 at Pirate Contemporary Art, 3655 Navajo Street, 303-458-6058, www.pirateartonline.org.Through July 10 at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A, 303-355-8955, www.walkerfineart.com.

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Vlasic, meanwhile, has chosen tattooed nudes as her subjects and has done so with a fanatical attention to detail — so much so that at first they look like photos, but they're not; rather, they're done in oil on canvas. Although you could argue that they're fairly traditional from a stylistic standpoint, Vlasic's portraits are really in-your-face because she's depicting naked tattooed men and women — and with unflinching accuracy, including genitalia and pubic hair. Some are fairly demure, like "Candice II," a seated young woman, while others are really graphic — notably "Ian," a gym-rat biker-type who lets it all hang out.

The summer is supposed be a time when the art world takes a break, but as these shows reveal, things are going along at a rapid and hectic pace – and that's not counting the King Tut show at the DAM and the several exhibits associated with the Biennial of the Americas, all of which have just opened or are about to.

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