Flight of Fancy

Any American art venue director lucky enough to nab Nick Bantock’s first retrospective and first show of any kind in the United States would be ecstatic, but for Cynthia Madden Leitner of the Museum of Outdoor Arts in CityCenter Englewood, it’s also personal, almost to the point of embarrassment. She is, to put it lightly, a tremendous fan. “It’s almost as if it was the Beatles and I’m fourteen again,” she jokes. “To present work by an internationally known and loved artist is already an incredible thrill, but the type of person Nick is makes it especially gratifying. I don’t get giddy about too many artists, but he’s got this sense of wizardness that I just love.”

Bantock became a worldwide sensation when the first of his Griffin & Sabine interactive book series came out in 1991, popularizing the art of collage (and, most likely, its lesser cousin, scrapbooking). A charming illustrated fiction imagining the correspondence between a postcard artist and an elusive island woman who illustrates postage stamps, the book, with its pull-out cards and missives, opened the gates for Bantock, who followed over the years with a proliferation of more books, artwork and even large assemblages, all created with a magical eye for supernatural imagery and ephemera.

Griffin & Sabine and Beyond, Nick Bantock: A Retrospective continues through May 28 at the MOA, 1000 Englewood Parkway; the huge show features 250 works, including eighty pieces of original art from Griffin & Sabine, all of which will be arranged thematically in a series of whimsical “rooms” throughout the museum. Gt more information at www.moaonline.org or call 303-806-0444.
Sept. 18-May 28, 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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