Staycation Pictures

Colorado is known for its world-class outdoor activities, but this time of year, it’s much nicer inside. William Biety, director of the van Straaten Gallery, was riffing off this idea when he put together Interior, which features paintings of rooms. But don’t be misled: While the works may detail the walls and furniture of these rooms, the actual topics are the people who live there but are not shown.

“My interiors are almost always empty, even though I consider myself a figurative painter,” says Mary Connelly, one of two artists included in the show. In this body of work, Connelly has created extremely intimate objects that are so small the viewer needs to get up close to see them. The colors are jewel-like and the brushwork is emphatic — exaggerated, in fact, owing to the small scale of the pictures. The other half of the duet is Jordan Wolfson, an accomplished representational painter with a national reputation who only recently moved to Colorado. The moody, atmospheric character of Wolfson’s room paintings makes them the perfect companions for the Connelly pieces.

But to take in these cozy places, you’ll have to leave your own. The show opens December 10 at van Straaten, 760 Santa Fe Drive, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Interior will be on view through January 16. For additional information, call 303-573-8585 or go to
Dec. 10-Jan. 16, 2009

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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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