Art Review


In the intimate and inviting Viewing Room in the back of the Robischon Gallery (1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788) is a wonderful show, Trine Bumiller: new paintings. The elegant Bumillers provide the perfect visual chaser to Judy Pfaff, which is on display up front (see review). True, the space in the rear is quite small, with a large set of files on one wall and a seating area in the middle, but somehow it always provides just enough room for a choice little one-person show, as is the case with the current exhibit.

Bumiller is a good choice to pair with Pfaff for several reasons, not the least of which is that both artists are interested in translating recognizable things into abstract compositions. Another connection between the two is their interest in installation art. But Bumiller's elements are paintings, and her installations almost always stay on the walls instead of wandering across the floor. The most amazing similarity is that both women live in grand old houses, though Bumiller's is here in Denver and has no established connection to Father Divine, as Pfaff's does.

Well known in the region, Bumiller began exhibiting in the late '80s in a variety of venues, settling at Robischon in 1989, just a few years after she moved here from back East. Bumiller earned a BFA at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1981; during her undergraduate years, she also spent time studying in Italy. Her taste for glazing, in which layer after layer of translucent tints suspended in oil are built up to create her surfaces, reflects her ongoing interest in age-old Italian painting techniques. However, her juxtaposition of panels covered with distinctly different pictorial elements and simplified, bare-bones abstractions based on the natural environment also reveals an abiding interest in issues relevant to contemporary American painting. Both characteristics are seen in the oil-on-canvas "Relativity".

The tiny but tasty Bumiller show is set to run at Robischon through June 21.

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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