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Susan Meyer. The provocatively titled solo Plato's Retreat, at Plus Gallery, showcases some recent work by conceptualist Susan Meyer, who teaches art at the University of Denver. What makes the title provocative is that it refers to a heterosexual swingers' club in New York in the early AIDS era, whose existence and closure mirrored the change in America from the free-sex utopia of the '80s to a disease-ridden dystopia. The show's title piece is an installation on a set of risers that looks like a simultaneously ancient and futuristic miniature city. Meyer used digitized laser cutters to partly cut out shaped fragments that she then stacked to form the "city," complete with little acrylic "windows" and actual live plants. Related, at least ideologically, is "Shelter Rock," a stacked acrylic-sheet form in the shape of a rock, with a room complete with tiny people inserted into a notch in the side. Meyer lays out a series of works that anticipate "Shelter Rock," including a video of an actual rock, a drawing of it, and a three-dimensional model created through transmedia. Through November 24 at Plus Gallery, 2501 Larimer Street, 720-394-8484, www.plusgallery.com. Reviewed November 9.

Theodore Waddell. With the increasing interest in modern and contemporary Western art, Theodore Waddell's Abstract Angus, curated by the DAM's Thomas Smith, is perfectly timed. From the entrance to the Gates Family Gallery, visitors are confronted by "Monida Angus," a mural so big you can't see it all until you get inside. Running across four large panels, the painting — which was specially created for this show — depicts cattle grazing in the foreground of a mountain range. Or at least that's what it looks like from across the room, because when you get up close, the cattle and scrub and even the mountains and sky are nothing more than rough and heavy smears of paint. This is true of all the Waddells here; some of them are almost non-objective, with hardly any landscape referents at all. For instance, "Motherwell's Angus," from the DAM's collection, is made up solely of a scruffy, dirty-white color field over which black dashes have been randomly inserted to stand in for the cows on a snow-covered plain. Through December 2 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed June 28.

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