Art Review

Artbeat

In the past couple of months, Bryan Andrews created dozens of large sculptures for his solo show, which is now playing at Cordell Taylor Gallery (see page 55). That would seem like a lot of work, but somehow Andrews had some spare time on his hands. How else to explain the fact that as soon as he finished putting up his own show, he organized a group show to open the following week?Andrews's other show, Force Future 2003, is at Andenken Gallery (2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281) and is the third Force Future, an annual aimed at highlighting experimental artists. Andrews was among the original founders of the show.

This year, the members of the Motoman Project were invited to display their work. The Motomen, as they are called, belong to a performance troupe that stages spectacles involving noisy and violent-looking machines. Force Future 2003 is made up of those machines, along with examples of the fine art done by the individuals in the group. The machines, which are meant to serve not only as props for the performance, but also as sculptures, steal the show. This is probably because they are so monumental and theatrical that they are visually captivating. Most of the machines look like weapons -- in particular, howitzers -- especially "Argus Pulse" (above), which includes a jet engine and was built according to instructions in declassified military files, and the evocatively titled "Mobile Shockwave Cannon."

The Motoman Project has three key members: sculptors Zach Smith and Joseph Rich', and art theorist Eric Dewine. In addition, several other participants, including Andrews himself, work as a team to facilitate the elaborate performances. Smith and Rich' were both already doing mechanized sculptures when they met a few years ago; Dewine was doing performance art at the time, using only his body. Noted Colorado sculptor Chuck Parson introduced the three, and they soon formed the group.

The newest Motoman performance, in which two new machines will debut, is scheduled for the evening of November 14; the compelling Andenken show is set to close on November 28. -- Michael Paglia

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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