Art Review

Art Beat

The turn of the century has put many people in the art world in a retrospective mood, but there are some dealers in the city who are way ahead of the pack -- they've been looking back at local art history for years.

One of these dealers is Elizabeth Schlosser, who operates the intimate, boutique-style gallery Elizabeth Schlosser Fine Art, in Cherry Creek North. The place is a maze of tiny rooms that are always filled with interesting stuff. Schlosser's inventory is heavy with material related to Colorado Springs, which was the center of the state's art world from the 1910s to the 1950s. Ethel Magafan is a solo show focusing on an artist who lived in the Springs during the '30s and '40s.

The show, which runs through March, features a group of Magafan's mountain landscapes, such as "The Way Towards the Valley" (above) and stacks of lithographs and silkscreens. Magafan left Colorado in the '40s and moved to New York, but she returned annually until her death in 1993 to sketch the mountains, her favorite subject. The influence of her friend and neighbor Milton Avery is easy to see in many of the later landscapes in this show.

After taking in the exhibit, swing by the South Broadway post office, at 220 South Broadway, and check out Magafan's fabulous 1930s mural depicting horses in the Western landscape. -- Michael Paglia

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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