Art Review

Art Beat

Mark Lunning is better known as an artisan -- a master printer -- than he is as an artist. But at the same time that hes been working with some of the best artists around at Open Press, his fine printing shop in Broadway Terrace, hes also been making his own fine art.

In A Change in the Weather: Etchings and Paintings, Lunning showcases his own recent pieces in the exhibition space at Open Press. The shows title, indicative of a stylistic break as well as a seasonal change, is taken from one of his etchings, also called A Change in the Weather: (pictured).

The prints are not paper versions of the paintings, nor are they preparatory models for them. But theyre not unrelated: Both have a central spiral motif that suggests the contraposto poses used by the old masters, including Caravaggio, a personal favorite of Lunnings. The paintings, many of which have radiating triangles of color, also owe a debt to cubism and futurism.

Another interesting aspect of the paintings is the use of three-dimensional boxlike canvases that have been finished on the sides as well as the front. A couple have been framed, which finishes them off even more effectively. Lunnings engaging show reveals what hes been up to when hes not helping others achieve their artistic ends. The show is well worth seeing before it closes on June 3.

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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