Art

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In her last appearance at Edge, as part of the Blue Light Special show presented late last year, Chicoyne exhibited a group of waxy and gauzy drawings that really stood out in an otherwise fairly dreadful display. The show marked my introduction to Chicoyne, but first impressions can be misleading. Rather than drawing, Chicoyne is chiefly interested in ceramics -- and that's what she's showing at Edge: ceramics in the form of an intelligent installation.

For one by some (shouldn't that be 'some by one'?), Chicoyne has covered the gallery's front space with some 800 small blobby forms -- essentially closed vessel shapes -- made of fired clay. Their scabrous surfaces are colored in earth tones, with a brick red used for those that have been placed on the shelf inside the door, and a Japanesque brown for the majority that sit on the floor.

The forms are arranged in tight groupings around a meandering path of open floor. This was a necessity, of course, because viewers need to cut through the installation to make the unrewarding journey to the spaces beyond.

Chicoyne's approach to installation -- using almost identical elements and similar colors -- connects her to well-known Denver artist Judith Cohn, whose installations have mostly been shown at Spark Gallery. Also linking the two artists is a firm basis in the old-fashioned functional-vessel tradition. Pamela Olson, whose incredible cast-porcelain installations are currently on view at the Arvada Center, is another artist with a similar style.

The thoughtful one by some 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