The marquee offering among the winter shows at Robischon is David Kimball Anderson: Altitude, the California artist's first Denver solo. The spaces are filled with installations meant to evoke the journey of twentieth-century Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Viewers could hardly be expected to know this, because the references are subtle, but they will immediately recognize the Buddhist aspect of the work and evocations of the Buddha, most notably the seated figure in translucent fiberglass. Other Andersons refer to the topic more abstractly, such as "Trungpa's Ladder" (pictured), which — the title notwithstanding — simply conveys the idea of an ascent.
Beyond the connecting space is Bill Armstrong, a show of photo-based works by this New York artist concerning the Buddha and the mandala. Armstrong creates collages in various palettes and then takes photos of them with his camera's lens set to infinity, so that the images are completely blurred and therefore only somewhat readable. As a result, the vivid colors Armstrong employs are more dominant than the forms, though the overall shape of the Buddha, and of the mandala, are still recognizable.
In the spaces behind the Armstrong show is Gibson + Recoder: Transparency, in which the New York couple Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder use old-fashioned film projectors and old-fashioned projector film as key materials in their sculptures and projections. The couple subverts the original intentions of the projectors and film: wrapping a projector in film, painting a projector white and feeding it opaque (and thus non-functional) film, or mounting a piece of film on the wall that moves as the air from a fan hits it. They're pretty clever.
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Finally, in the niche space, is Chuck Forsman: From the Vietnamerican Series, which includes a quartet of the Boulder artist's mashed-up views of the U.S. and Vietnam. In these paintings, Forsman juxtaposes the Rockies with the jungle, employing his signature contemporary-realist style. As an aside, Forsman is also the subject of a solo at the Denver Art Museum right now.
All four shows run through December 28 at Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street. For information, call 303-298-7788 or go to robischongallery.com.