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The Body Is Art

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Thinking small is the theme of my reviews this week, so it makes sense to look at what is perhaps the smallest gallery in Denver, Michele Mosko Fine Art (136 West 12th Avenue, 303-534-5433, www.michelemoskofineart.com).

Owner Michele Mosko was born and raised in Denver but spent more than 25 years elsewhere, going to school in Chicago and settling in New York. She opened her Denver showroom this past fall in a row house across the street from the south side of the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building.

Mosko's current exhibit, The Body Is Art, examines the figure in photographs and prints, and she's brought together a variety of works, some by world-famous artists. In what she calls the front room are erotic photos by Nicholas De Sciose, a Colorado artist, taken from two portfolios; the first is dedicated to female nudes, one of which is pictured, and the other is given over to a male gymnast. Also in this space is a weird cheesecake shot of a monkey by Jill Greenberg called "Mala Centerfold." Mosko is planning a future solo show dedicated to Greenberg.

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Michele Mosko

In the office is a series of surrealistic photos of both male and female nudes in outlandish costumes and headdresses by Dale O'Dell from Arizona. In these pieces, the nudes — with wings or giant heads — are posed in natural settings.

The finale, in the gallery proper, features big-name artists including Tom Wesselmann, Jim Dine, Lesley Dill and Louise Bourgeois. The standout, though, is an impressive Robert Rauschenberg called "Light." It's a unique paper construction created in China in the 1980s. The late Rauschenberg is, of course, one of the most influential artists of the last fifty years.

On Thursday, June 5, a panel discussing the subject of the nude in art will be moderated by freelance curator Rose Frederick at the gallery. The Body Is Art runs through June 21.

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