Dikeou Collection opens a pop-up exhibit

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Everyone is doing a pop-up these days: restaurants, retailers, and now art galleries. Something about the slightly secretive blink-and-you'll-miss-it nature of pop-up gets people into a tizzy -- or the organizers at least. The Dikeou Collection is the latest venue to give it a go, with a large-scale Styrofoam installation inside the empty office building at 1331 Bannock Street, across the street from the Denver Art Museum. The pop-up opened with a reception on Friday night that included the artist, Brooklyn-based Nils Folke Anderson, moving his piece Untitled (Bannock and California) around the space for fifteen minutes. A sister piece was installed at the Dikeou Collection on 1615 California Street, hence the "California" in the title. The sculpture will stand on Bannock for approximately three months.

"His work has such a nice relationship to the Libeskind [who designed the Frederic C. Hamilton building at the Denver Art Museum]," says Devon Dikeou, founder of the Dikeou Collection, artist and curator of the exhibit. She points to the jutting angles both have.

"Someone coming in without any additional information of it can have a sense of what happened, what these pieces are doing," Anderson says, noting the Styrofoam scraps on the floor (which will stay there) and the nicks on the squares.

The site-specific installation, which hits the ceiling and would not go quietly in and out of the door, was possible because of the material. Styrofoam is easy to carry, construct and ultimately dispose of. "The Styrofoam allows me to work at the full scale in this very direct way," Anderson says. "It also allows people to get very close to it and not be in danger." In fact, when he was rearranging the piece, some of the pieces fell.

"I like that [Styrofoam is] very beautiful but also very funny. There's something about things falling down that's very humorous and I think Styrofoam carries that." And, he points out that Styrofoam can be melted down and turned into things like picture frames. It doesn't have to take up space in a landfill.

The Bannock space is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

The conception of the piece started two-dimensionally, but Anderson, who primarily works in styrofoam and steel transformed it into a 3D piece that reaches the ceiling. The styrofoam sculpture of made of two sets of interlocked squares. It's mutable, tactile and leaves traces of where it's been. Two other art pieces, by Lucky deBellevue and Dikeou Collection founder Devon Dikeou, originally planned for the space will be displayed in the Dikeou Collection on California. The office space is long, narrow and decidedly squat, which made it impossible for the deBellevue piece, a mostly vertical piece, to fit.

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