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Gayle Crites and Andrew Beckham. As she usually does, Tina Goodwin has paired a couple of solos at her namesake gallery, with one in the larger front space and the other in the smaller corridor in back. At first glance, Gayle Crites: The Cloth That Binds appears to be an exhibit of works on paper, and broadly speaking, it is, except that the "paper" turns out to be hammered bark that the artist has gathered from around the world. Crites creates abstract or abstracted compositions that refer to mostly natural forms and often feature lots of delicate lines in ink that are accented with dyes. The whole thing is very elegant, a quality reinforced by the second show at Goodwin, Andrew Beckham: Firmament, which is made up of a suite of digital photo montages. These pieces, shown previously at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, began with Beckham's fascination with nineteenth-century star charts, which became a touchstone for him in this work. But he combines the maps with images from his everyday life and from his travels. It would be an understatement to call the resulting pieces complex. Through February 22 at Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street, 303-573-1255, Reviewed January 30.

Kelton Osborn and Julia Fernandez-Pol. In the front space and stretching into the small connecting corridor at the Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery is Kelton Osborn's fragments revealed: a continuous process, which is dominated by mixed-media works on paper but also includes watercolors on board and 3-D pieces, all of them abstracts. The show not only marks Osborn's debut at Wiedenhoeft, but also the first solo anywhere for the artist, who was trained as an architect and practiced for eighteen years before cutting back on design and deciding to focus on art instead. In Wiedenhoeft's enormous back space is Julia Fernandez-Pol's Some Day, One Day, Far Away. The display offers a marvelous assortment of the artist's juicy abstractions, which are based on landscapes and microscopic life. Fernandez-Pol typically starts with a color field, then tops it with paint applied directly from tubes or with syringes, in some cases creating stripes. The colors and tactile characteristics of her paints suggest brightly colored bubble gum or luscious cake icing. Through March 1 at Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery, 3542 Walnut Street, 303-351-1251,

Modern Vistas. Well-known Colorado artists Sushe Felix and her husband, Tracy Felix, are among those whose work is included in this show at the William Havu Gallery. Both have been steeped in the history of early modernism in New Mexico and Colorado, and although each has a distinctive approach, their pieces are undeniably interrelated. Tracy specializes in simplified and altered views of the landscape in a signature style that riffs off modernist realism from the 1920s, '30s and '40s and combines it with a cartoony approach. Sushe, for her part, has used a variety of styles over the years, with this current batch of works clearly referring to the cubo-regionalism of historic artists like Raymond Jonson and especially Charles Bunnell. Also at Havu are architectonic ceramic sculptures by Colorado artist Bebe Alexander. These vertical tabletop pieces suggest parodies of skyscrapers and grain silos. On the mezzanine, another artist using ceramics for parody, Max Lehman from New Mexico, mines Mexican and Native American forms, adding a retro animation spin to them. Through February 22 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, Reviewed January 23.

Movers and Shapers. Sandra Phillips has put together a show at her namesake gallery featuring influential women artists who are active in the region. In a way, it's a companion to The Transit of Venus at RedLine, though only one artist, Virginia Maitland, appears in both shows. As at RedLine, there is no stylistic unity to the Phillips show; the artists are linked solely by gender, and not because their works are interrelated. (An exception is the case of Carley Warren and Virginia Folkestad, but that's almost accidental; both do conceptual installations often featuring the use of wood.) The two abstract artists, Ania Gola-Kumor and the aforementioned Maitland, couldn't be more different in their approaches, with Gola-Kumor creating dense and multi-dimensional works on paper while Maitland does simple color-field compositions. Finally, there's contemporary realist Irene Delka McCray, whose work is very in-your-face — a quality that also describes her signature approach to the figure, as exemplified here by a twisting nude male, his blue veins visible beneath his white skin. Through March 1 at the Sandra Phillips Gallery, 420 West 12th Avenue, 303-573-5969,

The Transit of Venus. More than a year ago, William Biety was approached by two artists, Sally Elliott and Margaretta Gilboy, who asked him to curate a fortieth-anniversary show for the Front Range Women in the Visual Arts group. The result is The Transit of Venus, a show that kicks off a year-long series at RedLine dedicated to women in the fine arts. The Front Range Women do not constitute a school or movement, but were instead unified by an interest in feminism. The genesis of the group had to do with discrimination and the fact that women were routinely rejected from exhibits in the '70s; the group — part of a national network — aimed to fix that. Biety decided not to do a historic survey but instead to look at what the members had been up to lately. Despite there not being any specific style associated with the Front Range Women, it's undeniable that most of the artists are interested in figural styles. This is a legacy of the view that abstraction supported the patriarchy, though, interestingly enough, some of the group's best-known members work in abstraction. Through February 23 at RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe Street, 303-296-4448, Reviewed February 6.

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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