Through the Ages

Spark Gallery is the granddaddy of artist cooperatives in Denver, and that means it’s also the godmother of the city’s contemporary art scene. This position has been bolstered over the years by the high quality of its members, who reflect the full range of artistic experience, from younger artists to those with decades-long careers. This fact is being conveniently shown off now, with a young artist’s solo, Essence: Michael Gadlin, paired with Ink and Steel: Andrew Libertone, an exhibit dedicated to a pioneer of the contemporary scene.

Gadlin began painting traditional subjects several years ago; more recently, he’s been riffing off of old modern styles, creating retro abstractions made up of vaguely recognizable things. Libertone, who’s best known for his sculpture — his most significant piece is “Argento Piattino con Pesce,” a postmodern garden folly near Speer and Lincoln — is also adept at making drawings that have the kind of boldness you’d expect from a sculptor.

An opening reception for the conjoined shows takes place tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at Spark, 900 Santa Fe Drive. For information, call 720-889-2200 or go to www.sparkgallery.com.
Feb. 26-March 21, 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