Art Review

Adventures, Images, Duo: the Work of Brandon Borchert and Susan Vaho, and Soft Core: Contemporary Erotic Art

In the western half of Spark Gallery (900 Santa Fe Drive, 720-889-2200) is ADVENTURES, a solo of strange sculptures by Lydia Brokaw-Nelson. Some are fairly interesting -- such as the one of a log with its bark removed in a continuous piece -- but others, including the dress made of painted rope and wire mesh, are pretty ugly, if not completely terrible.

More consistently good are the smallish oil paintings by Dagmara Igals in the solo IMAGES, also at Spark. Igals is an established artist who exhibited in New York beginning in the '60s but hadn't shown in our area until a few years ago. The compositions in these paintings are made up of bars and lines arranged into interlocking designs, the best of which, such as "Camel Hair" (pictured), work very well. Also nice is Igals's subtle palette, which relies heavily on earth tones.

Next door but in the same building is Core New Art Space (900 Santa Fe Drive, 303-297-8428), which is presenting Duo: the Work of Brandon Borchert and Susan Vaho. Borchert works in acrylics, while Vaho is interested in photography and other photo-based methods. Both are doing pieces that seem inspired by pop art, but each has taken a distinctly different path.

Borchert is interested in chance, and the specific images he uses are determined by sets of winning numbers from the Powerball lottery. They're wonderful. And so are the best of the Vahos, in particular those that look like video stills. Also pretty cool are those funky pinhole-camera marionettes. That's right: Those puppets are actually cameras.

Also at Core, hidden behind a velvet curtain, is Soft Core: Contemporary Erotic Art -- and let me just say that it isn't so much erotic as it is vulgar.

On Friday, March 3, there will be an opening for ADVENTURES and IMAGES at Spark from 6 to 9 p.m.; the shows run through March 18. Duo and Soft Core at Core, on the other hand, close this Saturday, March 4.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia