Art Review

Systemic at RedLine

Billing itself as an "urban laboratory," RedLine (2350 Arapahoe Street, 303-296-4448, is a place where artists are provided with free or partly subsidized studio space and where there are some pretty impressive facilities for exhibitions. The handsome, award-winning studio/gallery — in a converted industrial building — could one day rival MCA Denver as a place to see important shows, especially if it is guided by the right ideas. With a few exceptions, that potential hasn't been fulfilled yet, but with a new director coming on board soon (though no word on who that will be), it just might.

Currently, two of RedLine's resident artists, Virginia Folkestad and Jeff Page, have come together to create an installation titled Systemic (detail pictured) that's been constantly growing since it opened at the beginning of last month. Folkestad, who's well known locally for her ambitious installations, and Page, a relative newcomer to the Denver scene after moving back here from San Francisco, where he went to school, began Systemic by inviting other RedLiners (Travis Egedy, Bob Koons and Bruce Price) to exhibit pieces of their work in the intimate room in the back, called Project Green Dot.

Folkestad and Page then began to fill the room with suspended forms reminiscent of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and attached to the walls; the forms are made of rubber bands, string, nylon stockings, cardboard and other humble materials. In the process, they've gradually covered up the art by the three invitees. The two collaborators have enjoyed working together because each is so different in his or her approach: Folkestad is contemplative, while Page is action-oriented.

As they've continued to construct Systemic over the last few weeks, it's outgrown Project Green Dot and spread into the main exhibition space, where twisted cardboard connected by rubber bands winds its way across the ceiling and terminates in a huge blobby form that hovers close to the floor.

A reception will be held July 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. celebrating Systemic's completion, with the piece remaining in place until July 26, after which it will be dismantled.

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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