Art Review

Interior Construct at Space Gallery

Michael Burnett is an accomplished painter, but unlike most of the city's artists, he also runs his own exhibition venue, Space Gallery (765 Santa Fe Drive, 720-904-1088, Not surprisingly, the style of choice for the artists he showcases is the same as the one he uses in his own paintings: abstraction. This has made Space a reliable source for abstract shows, mostly featuring Colorado artists. A case in point is the pair of conjoined solos that make up Interior Construct, on display now.

On the north side of the front gallery and wrapping around into the back space are large paintings by Haze Diedrich, a Denver-area artist. Diedrich has been exhibiting in Colorado for nearly a decade, but I first saw his work around five years ago. At that time, the compositions were even and balanced, comprising horizontal and vertical bands arranged into something like a basket-weave pattern.

Diedrich's latest creations are very different, both because they are unevenly and expressively painted and because they incorporate odd pictorial elements that throw the compositions out of balance. In "Isolation in a Time of Heroes" (pictured), Diedrich has applied a heavily painted ground dominated by reds. On top of this, he has arranged cup-like shapes rendered as though they are three-dimensional. Setting the whole thing off is an ocher shape descending from the top left of the canvas that's covered with an arrangement of interlocking shapes evocative of rocks.

On the south wall of the front gallery are small, nearly square panels by Scott Holdeman, who has also been exhibiting locally for several years. These new paintings combine hard-edged abstractions -- typically broad horizontal bars of color -- with scribbled shapes that are sometimes nearly invisible. These elements are completely at odds with the feeling of the rest of the paintings. Such inconsistencies mark Holdeman's work as not so much neo-minimalist, as his earlier efforts were, but post-minimalist. This good-looking show -- supplemented by a trio of Steve Shachtman sculptures -- closes January 17.

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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