Art Review


There's quite a bit worth seeing right now at Pirate (3659 Navajo Street, 303-458-6058). In the main gallery and in the Treasure Chest, longtime co-op member Steve Alarid is the subject of an impressive two-part solo (see previous page). In the Associate's Space is Gwen Laine: New Works, a show of photos and related installations that could be a cross between a Debra Goldman show and one by Lawrence Argent. The cast-bronze light bulbs on wall-hung metal brackets are so Argent-y.

In a couple of cases, Laine has paired photos of the same object done under different lighting conditions. As an example, "Here I Wander and Dream #1" (above), a straightforward shot of an infant's gown, is together with "Here I Wander and Dream #2," a shot of the same gown but with a transparent look. Both photos are carbon-pigment prints. The most successful piece is "What Remains," a series of nine square gelatin-silver-print photos depicting gathered fabric; in eight of the panels, the fabric is black, and in one it is white: very elegant.

In the ILK @ Pirate space, the only spot now used by the ILK co-op, is Square¹s: Recent Concrete Painting by Nicholas J. Silici. The ILK room is very small, which means that the shows presented there are also little. But Silici has managed to lend an air of monumentality to the place with his beautifully made neominimalist paintings.

Silici has been showing this kind of work for the last several years. On large squares of board, he applies concrete and oil paint that's then sealed with shiny shellac. The effect of the shellac over the concrete and paint makes his pieces resemble glazed ceramics. One of Silici's great strengths is his sensitive eye for color, like the array of blues seen in "Truth in Numbers" or the sumptuous gray over green in "Natural."

All of the shows at Pirate close 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