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Review: Industry and Nature at Michael Warren Contemporary

Installation image of “accumulation | connection | dispersion,” by Kelton Osborn.
Installation image of “accumulation | connection | dispersion,” by Kelton Osborn.
Courtesy of Michael Warren Contemporary
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Taking advantage of the gallery’s floor plan, Michael Warren Contemporary is currently presenting a pair of solos that bookend a group show. In the window space in front, Kelton Osborn: Accumulation/Connection/Dispersion comprises neo-constructivist works on paper and found-object sculptures. Kelton Osborn’s two- and three-dimensional works both have architectonic qualities — which makes perfect sense, as he is not only a painter and sculptor, but also an architect and designer.

Osborn lives in Denver but grew up in Pueblo, and he’s said that his aesthetic was influenced by having old industrial buildings as part of his earliest visual memories. That’s evident in the sculptures made of colorful bits of debris in the form of cardboard and string, as well as in the appropriated imagery on cut-up photos and prints. The sculptures, which are essentially vertical piles of colliding planar shapes, reminded me of a cross between Russian constructivism and arte povera, and they really worked. The mixed-media pieces on paper are different, with a dominant geometric abstraction floating on top of representational images done in photo transfers that come out vaporous and ghostly, thus appearing to recede behind the abstraction.

“Ultraviolet” and “Luminescent” by Teresa Booth Brown.
“Ultraviolet” and “Luminescent” by Teresa Booth Brown.
Courtesy of Michael Warren Contemporary

In the center space at Michael Warren is an untitled group show featuring work by artists in the gallery’s stable. The most striking is “Thicket,” a suspended installation by John Garrett. “Thicket” is composed of 81 ceiling-mounted chains that are each nine feet tall; each is made up of six wire configurations created from different metals linked together. Essentially filling a room-sized space with a forest of wire scribbles, this piece is fantastic. Also choice is the pair of mixed-media abstract paintings on panel by Teresa Booth Brown.

Installation image of “Processor,” by Andrew Roberts-Gray.
Installation image of “Processor,” by Andrew Roberts-Gray.
Courtesy of Michael Warren Contemporary

Around the corner in the back gallery is the other solo, Andrew Roberts-Gray: Processor. A Glenwood Springs-based artist, Andrew Roberts-Gray has been interested in playing with the Western landscape tradition in painting. Over the past few years, Roberts-Gray has created realist paintings with abstract interventions, as well as whitewashed depictions of scenic vistas with added sculptural elements. For these latest works, he used sandblasted plastic mirrors, on which he silkscreened an image of an early computer processor and an image of the Hindu god Ganesh, then painted a simple brushy landscape in liquid acrylic on top. The landscape is barely suggested, conveyed by wide marks and some almost-hidden found objects, notably metal processors.

All three shows run through September 2 at Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive. Call 303-635-6255 or go to michaelwarrencontemporary.com for more information.

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