Gayle Crites and Andrew Beckham. As she usually does, Tina Goodwin has paired a couple of solos at her namesake gallery, with one in the larger front space and the other in the smaller corridor in back. At first glance, Gayle Crites: The Cloth That Binds appears to be an exhibit of works on paper, and broadly speaking, it is, except that the "paper" turns out to be hammered bark that the artist has gathered from around the world. Crites creates abstract or abstracted compositions that refer to mostly natural forms and often feature lots of delicate lines in ink that are accented with dyes. The whole thing is very elegant, a quality reinforced by the second show at Goodwin, Andrew Beckham: Firmament, which is made up of a suite of digital photo montages. These pieces, shown previously at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, began with Beckham's fascination with nineteenth-century star charts, which became a touchstone for him in this work. But he combines the maps with images from his everyday life and from his travels. It would be an understatement to call the resulting pieces complex. Through February 22 at Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street, 303-573-1255, goodwinfineart.com. Reviewed January 30.
Heidi Jung. The current offering at Ironton is Roots — New Drawings by Heidi Jung, which strikes an elegant mood in the sparely installed gallery. The drawings are fairly spare themselves, with compositions that allow lots of paper to remain visible in the finished works. This sparseness in the installation and the works creates a minimal aesthetic in the gallery, but Jung's chosen style is far from minimalist. Rather, she meticulously records, in a hyperrealist style, all the relevant details of the contours of the shafts and roots of plants, using charcoal and Sumi and acrylic ink on sheets of vellum. Those sheets are mounted on birch panels, which allows them to be presented without the visual interference of frames — yet another example of the artist's less-is-more sensibility. Jung has been interested in nature and art since she was a young child. She trained as a fine-art photographer, which explains her interest in creating photographically accurate depictions of natural forms. It also informs the careful construction of the imagined light that she's able to convey using only lines and the blank paper behind them. Through February 22 at Ironton Studios and Gallery, 3636 Chestnut Place, 303-297-8626. irontonstudios.com.
Modern Vistas. Well-known Colorado artists Sushe Felix and her husband, Tracy Felix, are among those whose work is included in this show at the William Havu Gallery. Both have been steeped in the history of early modernism in New Mexico and Colorado, and although each has a distinctive approach, their pieces are undeniably interrelated. Tracy specializes in simplified and altered views of the landscape in a signature style that riffs off modernist realism from the 1920s, '30s and '40s and combines it with a cartoony approach. Sushe, for her part, has used a variety of styles over the years, with this current batch of works clearly referring to the cubo-regionalism of historic artists like Raymond Jonson and especially Charles Bunnell. Also at Havu are architectonic ceramic sculptures by Colorado artist Bebe Alexander. These vertical tabletop pieces suggest parodies of skyscrapers and grain silos. On the mezzanine, another artist using ceramics for parody, Max Lehman from New Mexico, mines Mexican and Native American forms, adding a retro animation spin to them. Through February 22 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, williamhavugallery.com. Reviewed January 23.
The Transit of Venus. More than a year ago, William Biety was approached by two artists, Sally Elliott and Margaretta Gilboy, who asked him to curate a fortieth-anniversary show for the Front Range Women in the Visual Arts group. The result is The Transit of Venus, a show that kicks off a year-long series at RedLine dedicated to women in the fine arts. The Front Range Women do not constitute a school or movement, but were instead unified by an interest in feminism. The genesis of the group had to do with discrimination and the fact that women were routinely rejected from exhibits in the '70s; the group — part of a national network — aimed to fix that. Biety decided not to do a historic survey but instead to look at what the members had been up to lately. Despite there not being any specific style associated with the Front Range Women, it's undeniable that most of the artists are interested in figural styles. This is a legacy of the view that abstraction supported the patriarchy, though, interestingly enough, some of the group's best-known members work in abstraction. Through February 23 at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, 303-296-4448, redlineart.org. Reviewed February 6.
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