Art Review


A sculpture by Robert Mangold, titled "PTTSAAES Denver" but unofficially redubbed "Particle Moving Through Denver" (above), was recently erected on the fairly new leg of the Sixth Avenue Parkway that runs through the still-under-construction neighborhood being built on the former Lowry Air Force base.

The sculpture, done in 1999, is made of welded tubular steel that has been painted an orangey-red. It's from the series "PTTSAAES," which stands for "Point Traveling Through Space at an Erratic Speed." Mangold's intention was to record in three dimensions the arbitrary trajectory of an imaginary object. It's something like a steel contrail. "PTTSAAES Denver" has been placed on a bed of river rock arranged in a circle in the middle of the parkway. The site is at the top of a hill at the intersection of Roslyn Street and Sixth Avenue. The view, with the Front Range in the background, is sensational, providing a wonderful setting for the sleek modernist construction.

The piece is the first of a group of six that are being lent to the Lowry Foundation by Englewood's Museum of Outdoor Arts. All six had been previously exhibited in Greenwood Village in a show called Elemental Energy. Late last week, a monumental creation by Chuck Parson was also installed at Lowry near the intersection of Quebec Street and Bayaud Avenue. In the near future, things by other well-known Colorado sculptors, including Erick Johnson, will be added. The sculptures will remain on display for eighteen months, after which they will be rotated with a new group of works by a different set of sculptors.

The sculptures look great, bringing some sense of civilization to the surrounding area, which is badly scarred by the preparations necessary for the construction of hundreds of new houses. Thank goodness the Lowry Foundation and the MOA came up with this plan for the inclusion of outdoor sculpture, because otherwise, Lowry would be completely artless.

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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