Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Final Days in Denver, Nov 07

William Stockman Puddle, oil on canvas 2006

My final days in Denver in November allowed me a chance to stop into the opening ofWilliam Stockman's "Nothing is Hiding" in the Singer Gallery at the Mizel Art Center at the JCC. I have always been taken by Stockman's drawings, and I've not coveted an artist's work more. I can't say why I never bought any. I remember stopping into Ron Judish Fine Art several times during a Stockman show back in 2000, and simply not being able to decide which I wanted more than another.
I guess I'd make a crappy collector.
Oddly, in a very indirect way, Stockman is responsible for me being in Beacon, NY now. I've never met him, but sometime soon after his aforementioned show at Judish, I read in Michael Paglia's column in Westword that Stockman was gearing up to move to Philadelphia. I was itching to leave Denver, need a landing spot and notice of this caught my imagination. I envisioned carving out a little to live and work in some anonymous and neglected corner of the city where real estate was cheap, and I was close to NY, but not too close. That's where it started, then by way of a pinball-like action, my attention was shot to rural Pennsylvania, up to Coxsackie NY (for the wedding of the inimitable David Kimmett) and eventually down to Beacon.

Still today, looking at Stockman's scratchy figurative drawings brings me a real visceral pleasure. I haven't seen his work since that 2000 show. This show at the Singer Gallery includes the black and white sketchbook pages, but the space is predominated by large canvases. The paintings' Twomblyesque accoutrement's are attractive, but feel obvious. Although beautiful and elegant, most of the paintings exist as large scale translations of the drawings. The paintings offer little new to the territory staked out in the drawings save the larger, color infused format, and all but a few of them make me think more of the sketches from which they were born. Still, its' a beautiful show, and it's on exhibit through January 18. Michael Paglia's write up of the show features a slide show of the exhibits' paintings.
On my last Sunday in town, I ran up to visit Dea and Dave at Plastic Chapel in their new location on East Colfax. Unfortunately, the joint is closed on Sundays. I snapped a couple of pics of the joint's new digs.
Lauri Lynnxe Murphy's installation on the walls.

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