Art Review

Artbeat

There's a great show being presented right now at the slightly off-the-beaten-path O'Sullivan Arts Center at Regis University (3333 Regis Boulevard, 303-458-3576) -- but, then again, there usually is. The current attraction is Dickson: Oils -- Monotypes, which presents an in-depth look at well-known Denver artist Mark Dickson's most recent efforts.

Dickson's been exhibiting his abstract paintings and prints for the last three decades, and he's executed prints at Boulder's Shark lithography and at Open Press in Denver, where the works in this show were done. However, the exhibit is mostly made up of paintings, and these are the latest examples of Dickson's personal style -- a freely mixed combination of abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction and color-field painting.

The show opens with some recent monotypes that are more highly organized than most of the other pieces. They are divided into clearly defined sections of color outlined in wide bars. More typically, though, Dickson disguises these elements by covering over or crossing out the squares and rectangles that nonetheless stay visible. This classic approach is seen in the breathtaking painting -- which, like all of the pieces in this show, is untitled -- facing the door of the capacious O'Sullivan and also in the impressive and sublime group of large canvases displayed in the enormous main gallery. An oil on canvas from last year (seen above) is one of many standouts in this section. Like most of the paintings, it is dominated by a single color, which is accentuated by an array of both related and opposing colors.

Dickson will lead a tour of the show on February 8. The exhibit closes on March 1, but gallery hours are extremely limited and there are no weekend hours, so call first.

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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