Painting to Music

After years of doing representational paintings, Craig Marshall Smith suddenly changed course ten years ago and started creating abstracts. “I took an inventory of what I’d done,” he says, “and I realized that my work was not really notable. All along, I’d had this affection for Motherwell, Kline and Diebenkorn — my holy trinity — and I started doing what they did, abstract expressionism, and I’ve never had a better time in my life.” He’s also found more popular and critical success with abstraction than he ever had with his representational pieces.

Like many artists, Smith paints to music. “I like music without words,” he explains, “and now my paintings don’t have ‘words’ either — no dogs, fishes or faces — just paint.” His most recent pieces, inspired by the Brian Eno ambient album Music for Airports, are included in a book called Paintings for Airports. They also make up the new show Paintings for Airports, which runs through April 11 in the Core New Art Space annex, at 900 Santa Fe Drive. A reception will be held tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at the annex; for more information, call 303-297-8428 or go to
March 25-April 11, 2010

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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

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