Art Review

Twinkle Twinkle

Ivar Zeile, the owner of Plus Gallery (2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927) has often described his approach to showing contemporary art as "eclectic," and in his case, that means embracing competing ideologies at the same time and in the same shows.

The problem with this approach is that offerings of this sort, like the current Twinkle Twinkle, don't come together as a coherent presentation, making it seem as though Zeile chose the artists randomly — and I think that may actually be true.

Twinkle Twinkle starts off with some wildly colored expressionist paintings by Travis Egedy that refer to both graffiti and commercial art, combining the two into a neo-pop sensibility. They couldn't be more different from the blurry photos of trees, such as "Landscape #1" (pictured), by Noah Manos, which are impressive even as they provide a jarring aesthetic contrast to the Egedys.

In the middle of the room is "Talicskal," an intriguing and visually pleasing plate-glass wheelbarrow by Leafe Zales. Finishing off the front space is a collection of oddball letters written by Martin Sammy Gardea appealing to Zeile for a show, along with a blank canvas smudged by being left out in the snow. Zeile's a fan of this kind of neo-1970s-arte povera-type stuff, but I'm not.

In the second part of the show, Zales delves into the same non-sensibility as Gardea with a linear abstraction made from hair collected over 122 days and a bag of trash that's sitting in the middle of the floor as though it were a sculpture. These pierces definitely contrast with Mindy Bray's accomplished and gorgeous paintings of buildings reduced to geometric abstractions. I also liked the drawings and the single painting depicting tract houses by Nathan Abels, and there's something compelling about the paintings carried out in gouache, ink and glitter by Lela Shields, which have marvelous surface effects. This strange if ultimately satisfying group effort runs through January 19.

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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