Art Review

Art Beat

The small and recently remodeled ILK @ Pirate gallery is currently hosting Align, an elegant solo show featuring recent paintings by ILK co-op member Bill Brazzell. The paintings are non-objective; they refer to structural abstraction and use expressive geometric shapes. Most are composed of identical components assembled into grid patterns.

In addition to paint, Brazzell uses a wide range of materials, including wax, wood, tar and even cement -- as seen in the very handsome "Passage I," shown above. For this painting, Brazzell covers a thin sheet of concrete with square dashes of light-colored oil paint and then seals the whole thing in a coat of wax. Unlike most of the other pieces, "Passage I" is painted on a single panel. More typical is "Red Cross," in which five small panels, in five different shades of red, have been arranged in a cruciform pattern.

The work Brazzell shows in Align marks the artist as a distinguished member of the contemporary post-minimalist movement. That style, a kind of sophisticated and aloof abstraction, is one that has happily found many adherents around these parts in recent years.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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