Art Review

Art Beat

Potenza, Italy, is one of Denvers many sister cities around the world. But unlike some of the others, Potenza makes sense as a civic sibling, because a lot of Denvers nineteenth-century Italian immigrants came from there. In fact, the Potenza Lodge social club was founded here in 1899 and was made up entirely of those who hailed from the Italian town.What makes this relevant to the visual arts is an untitled exhibit at the Golden Triangles Bayeux Gallery that highlights rugs, weaving and paintings by the students and faculty of the Istituto Statale DArte in Potenza. The show is being co-hosted by Denvers Potenza Sister City Committee.

The most impressive pieces here are the large knotted rugs hung along the north wall, in which international abstraction is used to convey nature. In one, underneath all the linear flourishes in wool, is a peacock (according to gallery director Carla St. Romain). These rugs are quite impressive, and the smaller ones are downright cheap. Also included are a number of weavings and paintings on paper by Gerardo Cosenza, a leading faculty member from the Istituto in Potenza.

This show is just the latest in a line of interesting presentations at Bayeux. The fact that the gallery specializes in an often orphaned medium -- artist-created textiles -- makes the experience that much more unconventional. But dont put off a trip to Bayeux for too many domanis; the show goes back to Italy on June 2.

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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