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
Another standout in this show is Daniel Rozin's "Rust Mirror," a truly compelling interactive installation. On the floor, Rozin has laid a loose rock walkway, and as the viewer walks on it, there's an emphatic sound that's naturally produced. At the end of the path, there's a structure with a flat surface covered with rusted metal tiles. As the viewer approaches it, the tiles, which are mechanized, start to move in reaction. This produces what looks like a shadow on the tile-covered surface. It's a tour de force.
Beyond this main gallery is another large space. The two are separable from one another through the use of pocket doors, so that when one is being installed, the other can be open. In this gallery, Becker has conjured up an ancillary show, archiTECHtonica From the Collection, selecting works from CU's 6,000-plus piece permanent collection. The '60s Sol LeWitt sculpture is not to be missed, and those Richard Anuszkiewicz prints from the '70s are great, too.
Off to the left is a corridor that leads to a video space where Liliana Porter: Fox in the Mirror is on a continuous loop. Images of moving figurines and toys are accompanied by a contemporary classical score by Sylvia Meyer. Despite the whimsical appearance of the "actors," the music lends an ominous mood to the whole thing.
The last of the exhibits, Highlights of the Collection, is installed in the two galleries that run alongside all the other spaces. These galleries may be accessed through a separate formal entrance off the lobby. Viewers first come into a small space, called the Jewel Box Gallery, that has been filled with several separate displays in built-in showcases. There's a modest selection of Greek pottery, a more important-looking group of Roman glass vessels, and finally, what is surely a significant collection of Roman coins. These things were in the university's collection for years, but have only recently been acquired by the CUAM. Also in this area is a collection of pottery from Asia and some choice santos.
In the larger gallery beyond, Becker has sampled the European and American pieces in the collection. There is definitely a catch-as-catch-can character to the collection, but after all, it's only been in the last decade that anything more than cursory attention has been paid to it. Not that there aren't some nice items, like a Marsden Hartley. And there is real strength in the works on paper, in both the Old Master and modern master categories.
You could say that the new CUAM is the culmination of a longstanding dream, but I'd say it's just the beginning. Because now that the building is done, there's going to be time to work on beefing up that bare-bones collection. And the first thing I'd do if I were Becker is to solicit gifts of Colorado art, the lack of which is an obvious weakness.