Michael Burnett, the director of Space Gallery, is constructing a swank new two-story space at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive to house his venue. A custom gallery is something of an exception in Denver, where most art businesses occupy repurposed storefronts in existing buildings. Space — designed by Owen Beard for Solid — will be the third purpose-built gallery in the city, the other two being William Havu and Plus.
Burnett plans to unveil the new space after the first of the year, so the current offering, Structural Leanings, will be the swan song for the old Space. Though it has a singular title, Structural Leanings is actually a pair of solos, featuring recent work by Haze Diedrich in the north half of the gallery and work from Lewis McInnis on the south side.
Diedrich and McInnis are two of the state's most notable abstractionists, with both interested in compositions featuring masses of smaller shapes — non-repeating organic ones for Diedrich, and good old geometric forms for McInnis. Though both use patterns in their paintings, neither, strictly speaking, could be called a pattern painter.
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Each artist is represented here by advancements in his signature style, but both are also doing new things. For Diedrich, it's taking nature and breaking it up into clusters of elements that don't convey any particular scene, but rather a mood. For McInnis, the dense yet regulated structures of his earlier geometric patterns have been opened up, as in "Structure 5" (pictured), and, in some cases, dispensed with completely, as in "Untitled (Red Lot)," in which the grid is replaced with big color fields.
Burnett points out that these recent McInnis paintings show an awareness of Clyfford Still, in particular the way the palettes are conceived, with small dashes of color used here and there that are not part of the predominant scheme.
Structural Leanings runs through November 30 at Space Gallery, 765 Santa Fe Drive. For information, call 720-904-1088 or go to spacegallery.org.