Art Review

Art Beat

Pirate is teeming with good shows right now, and the varied directions of the exhibiting artists are astounding.

In the main space, co-op members Richard Colvin and Katherine Temple present collaborative installations in Re-Echo. In many of their pieces, the two artists play with the difference between reality and illusion. In "Chairs, Chairs, Chairs," three chairs and two mirrors create an interesting visual trick: From the front, all three chairs are visible together, but the two end ones are conveyed partly through the middle chair's reflection in the mirrors.

In the Associates space is Wes Magyar: searching for the obvious, which brings together expressive figural drawings and paintings. The paintings, which often take up enigmatic subjects such as a blindfolded couple walking hand in hand, are more successful than the very similar drawings. And in the Treasure Chest, California artist Daphne Carlin's tiny watercolors of trees -- smeary paintings with a childlike quality -- have been assembled.

Back up front, in the [email protected] space, is Evan Colbert's wonderful So?. The small exhibit is made up of a group of Colbert's latest abstract paintings, several of which feature the use of found numbers, as in "Nonoblique" (above) and the gorgeous and gigantic diptych "Conundrum." Colbert is known for his biting wit, exemplified in last year's paint-chip paintings that compared colors to such unlikely things as puke, piss and anger. Here, "Neccoesque," a row of eight tondos painted in the familiar pastel shades associated with Necco wafers, offers the same mix of pop art and minimalism.

These four shows breathe life into the long-slumbering Pirate. But get moving, matey -- they all close on Sunday.

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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