Monk’s Dream

Local sculptor Yoshitomo Saito’s new bronze installation, Bemsha Swing in Denver, refers to the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” in a funny way: via his own mystification at reading the drily notated Wikipedia description of the jazz standard. “Because of my inability to comprehend this Wikipedia explanation for my favorite 'Bemsha Swing,' I had a moment of a brain twister when I tried to read it and almost lost confidence in my understanding of Thelonious Monk’s music,” Saito says in his artist statement. “However, from my longtime listening experience, I believe the poetic displacement that occurs in 'Bemsha Swing' and other Monk tunes is easily accessible, with their organic funky groove and evocative sound-vision.”

How that translates into bronze is another story. “I prefer to dwell in the casual secret place of human imagination,” he adds. And so Saito’s organic and free-flowing installation, which has been on display since April 12 at Ironton Gallery, echoes the enjoyment of Monk’s sense of swing in textural, natural shapes. The result is a beautiful exhibition that you can almost hear, if you listen hard enough.

See Bemsha Swing during a First Friday artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at Ironton, 3636 Chestnut Place in RiNo; get details online at or call 303-297-8626.
Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 12-4 p.m. Starts: April 12. Continues through May 18, 2013


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