Altering Currents

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More in-your-face is "Some Violence and Sexual References," an acrylic on canvas from 1981, which shows a pair of red spike high heels and Nazi memorabilia, including a dagger, arranged into a still life. Also outrageous is "You'd Better Watch Out," a 1974 acrylic on canvas that finds Santa Claus in the gunnery port of a bomber equipped with a machine gun.

And with that, we are back around at the beginning; it's time to check out the galleries below and on the mezzanine.

Opposite the staircase are two handsome landscapes by Mark Nelson and the compelling portraits of art and literary figures by Gary Michael. Both artists live in Colorado.

Also downstairs are some disturbing installations by Boulder's Terry Maker, the quirky paintings of Denver artist Don Carleno, and those by Dave O'Brien, also from Denver.

Upstairs are the marooned Stockmans, along with the work of other local painters, including Peter Illig, Karen Bozik and Sandra Wittow.

To be honest, Real to Surreal doesn't hold together, and whatever Sink's intentions may have been, they are only glimpsed here and there. But although the show isn't spectacular, many of the pieces in it are, and Real to Surreal may truly be said to be less than the sum of its parts. But with a little visual discrimination on the part of visitors, the show can still make for a pleasant viewing experience.

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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