Art Review

Artbeat

Emotional Distance, the superb photo show at Gallery Sink (2301 West 30th Street, 303-455-0185) combines the work of some of Colorado's best-known artists with examples by well-known photographers from around the country.

In the front space, exhibit organizer Mark Sink has installed a group of wonderful landscape photos by Boulder painter Chuck Forsman ("Fishing (Oregon)," from 1997, is seen above) alongside very different, but still compelling landscapes by Charles Walters, a Colorado Springs photographer. In the next space is another photographer with a connection to Colorado Springs -- albeit a now-severed one since he no longer lives in Colorado. Robert Adams is represented by a pair of his characteristic contemporary scenes depicting the ravages of development set in the majestic western landscape.

Hung nearby is a group of photos by Denver's Kevin O'Connell, some of which capture shadows as they pass over a field. Also interesting are the photos by the late Otto Roach, who lived and worked in Denver. These straightforward shots of roads and signs from the 1950s are unself-conscious and differ from Adams's work in precisely this way.

Sink says he wanted all the photos in the show to avoid conventional notions of beauty. "Some of the things that people sent in were too pretty, too poetic," he says. "I didn't want that kind of thing in this show."

This effort wasn't altogether successful, however, because a lot of beautiful things got through anyway. Emotional Distance closes this 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