The Light Fantastic

Artist Nathan Abels paints light and its infinitesimal atmospheric changes, something that can’t be easy, though his facility with a brush somehow makes it appear so. And that’s just one subtle theme running through West With the Night, a show of new works that celebrates, among other things, sunrises and sunsets, both in Abels’s work and for the nomadic Rule Gallery, which represents him. Rule is kicking off a new era after founder Robin Rule’s recent passing with new digs inside Hinterland Art Space, and this show, an eleven-painting cycle inspired by the artist’s travels to the canyonlands of southeastern Utah, is the centerpiece of that new beginning. Light, of course, plays a big role in the series, as does the dreamy imagery of canyon pictographs.

“I put together what I thought of as a dream journey,” Abels explains. “The images start with nighttime evening colors and scenes in blues and slate grays, and that moves toward the transition of the show in the middle of the room, where it’s replaced with warmer, daylight imagery in yellows and warmer colors. It opens and closes with images of windows that bookend the show; in a certain way, it’s like the sun going down and coming up in your bedroom, and the images between represent the dream.”

See the sun rise and fall in West With the Night, along with a selection of works from the Rule estate, at tonight’s opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hinterland, 3254 Walnut Street, or Tuesdays through Saturdays through July 3. Go to or call 303-800-6776.
Fri., June 13, 6-9 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: June 13. Continues through July 3, 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd