Art Review

Michael Brohman Gets Heavy at Pirate, While Walter Barton Takes a Lighter Approach

It isn't often that Michael Brohman's work could be described as somber ("outrageous" is more often what comes to mind), but that's the case with Horizons, now in the main space at Pirate.

See also: A Lively Mix of Sculptures, Paintings and Photos Fill Spark Gallery

The magnum opus is "Borders," a monumental bronze-and-wood installation anchoring the entire exhibit. In it, Brohman means to refer to events in the past, in particular the Holocaust, and to those in the present, specifically the immigrant children at our southern border.

Brohman has taken salvaged boards and stacked them up into a horizontal stand that's nearly twelve feet long. The joint lines between the boards are visible and are meant to convey the stripes on a prison uniform.

On top are scores of armless figures lined up shoulder to shoulder, staring out. It's very impressive. Also intriguing is the title piece, which comprises three Doric-column fragments with little toy horses on top.

Using found wood, both processed and natural, Walter Barton has put together lyrical constructions that recall the forms of furniture for his solo, Urban Wood, in the associate space.

Through October 26 at Pirate Contemporary Art, 3655 Navajo Street, 303-458-6058,

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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