Last fall, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center hosted the traveling Master Drawings exhibit, which featured more than 150 drawings ranging in date from the 1300s to the 1970s, all of them loaned by the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. The Worcester has an enormous collection, numbering into the high hundreds; in the choices made for the CSFAC show, organizers included many big names from the history of art. Some of the most impressive drawings were the finished-presentation works, in which washes and watercolors were used to fill in the inked lines. The show had a lot of American pieces, but English and Italian drawings were also found in abundance, and there were several fine modernist sketches by Europeans working in the mid-twentieth century. Major exhibits of drawings are almost never seen, so this one was surprising -- as well as being one of the best art shows, of any kind, around.

Last fall, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center hosted the traveling Master Drawings exhibit, which featured more than 150 drawings ranging in date from the 1300s to the 1970s, all of them loaned by the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. The Worcester has an enormous collection, numbering into the high hundreds; in the choices made for the CSFAC show, organizers included many big names from the history of art. Some of the most impressive drawings were the finished-presentation works, in which washes and watercolors were used to fill in the inked lines. The show had a lot of American pieces, but English and Italian drawings were also found in abundance, and there were several fine modernist sketches by Europeans working in the mid-twentieth century. Major exhibits of drawings are almost never seen, so this one was surprising -- as well as being one of the best art shows, of any kind, around.

Bill Brazzell is one of the younger artists who make up the majority of the ILK co-op's membership. In Align, presented last spring in ILK's branch location at Pirate, Brazzell cleverly melded intuitive gestural abstraction with its opposite, an organized formal structure. Several of Brazzell's paintings were done on thin sheets of concrete that had been stained with square dashes of rubbed-in oil pigment, then sealed with a layer of transparent wax. He then used multi-panel formats to create single paintings in which two, three or five squares are assembled to form one coherent shape. The [email protected] space is a little nothing of a room, but with only a few paintings, Brazzell was able to make a big statement.
Bill Brazzell is one of the younger artists who make up the majority of the ILK co-op's membership. In Align, presented last spring in ILK's branch location at Pirate, Brazzell cleverly melded intuitive gestural abstraction with its opposite, an organized formal structure. Several of Brazzell's paintings were done on thin sheets of concrete that had been stained with square dashes of rubbed-in oil pigment, then sealed with a layer of transparent wax. He then used multi-panel formats to create single paintings in which two, three or five squares are assembled to form one coherent shape. The [email protected] space is a little nothing of a room, but with only a few paintings, Brazzell was able to make a big statement.
Surely the tumbledown storefront that houses the main branch of the ILK co-op on the increasingly gentrified Santa Fe Drive gives no indication that inside, as often as not, are some of the best art shows in town. That was definitely the case early this spring when the south gallery was swept clean, painted, and given over to Untitled: Steven Altman, a solo show that featured some of this highly regarded Denver painter's latest abstractions. And they were sensational. Altman first lays a grid of paper on a board, then paints over it in a gestural style; his unerring sense of composition and striking juxtapositions of color provided this show with a number of breathtaking moments.

Surely the tumbledown storefront that houses the main branch of the ILK co-op on the increasingly gentrified Santa Fe Drive gives no indication that inside, as often as not, are some of the best art shows in town. That was definitely the case early this spring when the south gallery was swept clean, painted, and given over to Untitled: Steven Altman, a solo show that featured some of this highly regarded Denver painter's latest abstractions. And they were sensational. Altman first lays a grid of paper on a board, then paints over it in a gestural style; his unerring sense of composition and striking juxtapositions of color provided this show with a number of breathtaking moments.

Manitou Springs artists Tracy and Sushe Felix have exhibited in Denver since the 1980s. Both are highly regarded, and both have their pieces in many art collections (including the Denver Art Museum's). For this stunning show last summer, gallery director Bill Havu gave a large space to each artist -- and separating them from each other was a good idea, since stylistically, their paintings are clearly distinct. Husband Tracy's are lyrical, magic-realist scenes of imaginary yet familiar mountains; Sushe, on the other hand, uses transcendental symbolism to make abstracts. Both base their work on historical regional precedents from early in the twentieth century, Tracy responding to the artists of the Broadmoor Academy, Sushe to those who worked in Taos. Both Felixes are worth catching, whether they're together, as they were here, or apart, as is more often the case.

Manitou Springs artists Tracy and Sushe Felix have exhibited in Denver since the 1980s. Both are highly regarded, and both have their pieces in many art collections (including the Denver Art Museum's). For this stunning show last summer, gallery director Bill Havu gave a large space to each artist -- and separating them from each other was a good idea, since stylistically, their paintings are clearly distinct. Husband Tracy's are lyrical, magic-realist scenes of imaginary yet familiar mountains; Sushe, on the other hand, uses transcendental symbolism to make abstracts. Both base their work on historical regional precedents from early in the twentieth century, Tracy responding to the artists of the Broadmoor Academy, Sushe to those who worked in Taos. Both Felixes are worth catching, whether they're together, as they were here, or apart, as is more often the case.

As a parting gesture to the Pirate co-op, Stephen Batura mounted the most ambitious painting he had ever done right before resigning his commission as a member. "Floodplain" was a mammoth abstraction that was a full forty feet long and twelve feet high, essentially filling the entire south wall in Pirate's main space. Using short brushstrokes in cool shades of gray and green, Batura broadly referred to light reflecting off of water. This mural led the artist to create an entire series based on light and water; several of these later paintings were shown earlier this year at Ron Judish Fine Arts. Batura's been around for a long time, and over the years he's painted everything from dresses to train wrecks, but he's at his best when exploring his latest set of interests.
As a parting gesture to the Pirate co-op, Stephen Batura mounted the most ambitious painting he had ever done right before resigning his commission as a member. "Floodplain" was a mammoth abstraction that was a full forty feet long and twelve feet high, essentially filling the entire south wall in Pirate's main space. Using short brushstrokes in cool shades of gray and green, Batura broadly referred to light reflecting off of water. This mural led the artist to create an entire series based on light and water; several of these later paintings were shown earlier this year at Ron Judish Fine Arts. Batura's been around for a long time, and over the years he's painted everything from dresses to train wrecks, but he's at his best when exploring his latest set of interests.

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