The Grass Is Greener

Robert Mangold (Bob to everyone in the Colorado art scene) is surely the dean of Denver’s contemporary sculptors, with a fifty-year career under his belt. His best-known pieces are those colorful and familiar whirligigs called “Anemotive Kinetics,” a number of which can be seen around town. Still, it’s been years since he’s presented a solo of his own work in Denver — his wife, Peggy, can’t even remember the last time — so the eponymous Robert Mangold at Artyard: Contemporary Sculpture, his combination studio and gallery, is definitely something special. But it’s made even more special by the fact that it almost didn’t happen.

Over the past year, Mangold had a couple of brushes with death, which raised the question of whether he’d even be alive to do a show. “Fortunately, I’m still involved in the series ‘Space, Time and Motion,’” muses Mangold, referencing both his current sculpture and his health struggles. “Last fall and winter, there was some concern about whether my time had ended along with my motion and space.”

But Mangold pulled through, and his impressive exhibit opens October 2 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. both inside and outside Artyard, 1251 South Pearl Street. The show, whihc continues through December, includes some sculptures Mangold was working on when he was stricken, plus a group of just-completed pieces. “I am pleased to have finished new works,” Mangold says, “but I’m most pleased to be looking at the grass from the green side.” And we should all be pleased to be looking at this exhibit. For more information, call 303-777-3219.
Oct. 2-Dec. 25, 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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