Of the city’s half-dozen artist-cooperatives, Spark Gallery on Santa Fe Drive is the oldest, having opened in 1979, a little over a year before Pirate did. This pioneering role in the alternative space arena is reflected in the solidity of the membership at Spark, which is mostly made up of well-established artists with careers that stretch back decades. Two such artists, Annalee Schorr and Barbara Carpenter, both of whom are long time members, are the subjects of individual solos that are set to open there on Friday, May 23.
Schorr has done a variety of works over the years in a wide range of mediums. For her latest pieces, featured in Cacophony at Spark, Schorr has used mylar sheeting in various colors as ad hoc materials that she has drafted into service in order to make both two-dimensional collages and three-dimensional sculptural assemblages. “Landscape 5” (pictured) lies somewhere in between these two poles.
Carpenter, who is mostly known for “finding” abstractions out in nature by zeroing in on a tight close-up of something in the viewfinder of her color cameras, has made a big switch with the images that make up Things That Went... (Is she referring to her former signature-style?) These new Carpenter photos seem to be based on barely recognizable landscapes, but they’ve been altered and thrown out of focus to hide their details. In a way, it’s the exact opposite sensibility from her classic accidental abstracts, where the details remained crisp and clear.
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The two shows open to the public tonight on the 23rd with a reception slated for 6 to 9 p.m. at Spark Gallery, 900 Santa Fe Drive. Call 720-889-2200 or visit Spark Gallery's website to learn more. -- Michael Paglia