Last summer, the ILK co-op all but disappeared, and for a long time, its space, just inside the main entrance of Pirate gallery, was not only closed, but boarded up. Then a new crew of members, headed by artist and writer Troy Briere, took over and began to present shows again. Now Briere has changed the co-op's name to the evocative-sounding HazMat Gallery.
HazMat's inaugural exhibition, Stephen Plount: Sap Demons, is a solo made up of drawings hung in grids. These works, which sport crude and pseudo-nave renderings of body parts and other natural things, clearly have enigmatic narrative subtexts. Plount based them on ideas contained in four books he's made over a period of many years. A recent graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver, he is off to New York's Pratt Institute in the fall.
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In the main space at Pirate is an ambitious single-artist show, Marie e.v.b. Gibbons: lost, which brings together a group of recent sculptures. A Pirate member for the past several years, Gibbons is a self-taught artist, which is surprising, given the technical expertise she brings to her work. She's led many workshops over the past decade and has scheduled a special educators' reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on June 8 at Pirate.
The Gibbons exhibit is uneven, and some of the work is cloying, but the wall sculptures really work. In one of them, "immunity," Gibbons arranged clay carvings that look like seedpods across the wall. The pod forms are exquisitely modeled and beautifully colored. The best piece is "youth" (detail above), an installation in which Gibbons covered an acid-green wall with gorgeous cream and brown raku masks molded after doll's heads. Both "immunity" and "youth" indicate an exciting new direction for Gibbons.
Also at Pirate is the handsome Lisa DiMichele: Variations of Two Plates, which is installed in the Associates Gallery. And in the Treasure Chest is janey hubschman: intimate objects in clay, a show that complements the Gibbons display very well.
The HazMat show and all three Pirate exhibits close on June 20.