Art Review

CONVERSATIONS REFLECTIONS

There's a charming little group show at Sandra Phillips Gallery (744 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-5969) with the grammatically challenged title of CONVERSATIONS REFLECTIONS. (Shouldn't that be CONVERSATIONAL REFLECTIONS or CONVERSATIONS REFLECTED or even CONVERSATIONS /REFLECTIONS?)

Anyway, unlike the plodding gait of the title, the show itself flows beautifully, with the work of each of the three included artists simultaneously being a compliment and a contrast. What unifies the varied creations is that they all share a quiet palette dominated by earth tones. What separates them are their chosen mediums: One is a painter, one is a photographer, and the third is a ceramics artist.

The painter is Anna Kaye, who specializes in hyper-realistic depictions of things in the natural world -- in this instance, puddles. She cuts boards into puddle-like shapes and then paints the complicated visual effect of surface reflections floating over views of the water underneath. They are technically flawless, though I do wish Kaye had not used the shaped boards.

The photographer is Sandy Lane, who created an impressive mural made from 96 panels. On each is a photo-based image of figures touched up with colored pencil. The people are Lane's ancestors; she used stills from old home movies from the 1930s and '40s. They have a misty, romantic, nostalgic neo-pop sensibility in the tradition of New Mexico's Betty Hahn.

The ceramicist is Katie Caron, a top young artist in the local field. Caron uses natural forms, often seeds and pods, in her mostly small-scale sculptures. Among the tabletop and wall-hung pieces is a large floor sculpture, "Mullien" (detail pictured), in ceramic and steel. The sculpture is a rendition of the mullien plant, with the steel serving in place of foliage and the ceramics representing the blooms.

The run of CONVERSATIONS REFLECTIONS has been extended by a week and will now close on November 30, after an artist talk at 6:30 p.m.

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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