Michael Zansky|Un Viaggiatore Agitato
Even before he took over as the able director of the Sandy Carson Gallery (760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-8585, www.sandycarsongallery.com) a few years ago, William Biety had spent decades in the art world and had developed relationships with artists from around the country. That's half of the backstory to Michael Zansky: The Supreme Court Series, now on display at the gallery. The other half was Biety's desire to coordinate a show with the recent opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver.
Zansky, who has a gigantic studio in the tiny upstate New York town of Nyack, has been showing work in an array of mediums since the late 1960s. In recent years, he turned to computer-aided creations and to sculptures employing optical devices. Both types of work can be seen at Sandy Carson.
Most of the pieces are digital prints of carved wooden panels accented with areas of acrylic paint, as seen in an untitled "Supreme Court Series" piece (detail pictured). Zansky decorates the topographically carved wood — some have compared his pictorial approach to that of earthworks master Robert Smithson — with dramatically lit screws standing on end and a scattering of plastic lenses. There's definitely a scuola metafisica character to these, especially the obelisk-like screws with their long cast shadows.
Also on display is an outrageous sculpture in which viewers look through a huge lens to glimpse a rotating head of George Washington with comically (or would that be unnervingly?) bulging eyes.
The gallery's other exhibit, Un Viaggiatore Agitato, which translates roughly as "A Long, Agitated Journey," features recent landscape paintings by Ricki Klages. The paintings depict the scenery around her studio in Italy as well as other locales. Klages, who is based in Wyoming, adds a surrealistic quality to her landscapes by placing a repeated pattern of incongruous images, such as seashells or lit matches, across the surface. This gives her otherwise traditionally rendered pictures a contemporary feel.
Both exhibits run through November 23.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Denver art and theater scene.