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Art June, 23 2011

Summer Group Show at David B. Smith Gallery

David B. Smith Gallery in Denver opens its Summer group exhibition on June 24, 2011. Each artist presenting responds to human interaction with the natural world, ruminating on the juxtaposition of civilization and nature. The work will remain on view through July 16, 2011.

Above: Hong Seon Jang, Black Forest, Tape on chalkboard, 24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm), 2011.

David B. Smith Gallery
1543 A Wazee Street
Denver, CO 80202

Learn about all participating artists after the jump.

Lanny DeVuono is the Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Colorado Denver, and the recipient of numerous awards and grants. She has taught as a Fulbright Scholar in Kerala, India, and as a visiting lecturer in Bangkok, Thailand. While she is firmly rooted in traditional landscape painting techniques, her work represents a different approach to the depiction of nature. Sometimes presented in non-traditional ways, such as placing work on the floor as opposed to hanging it on the wall, DeVuono likes her pieces to be understood as not only paintings, but also as art objects. DeVuono’s current work with diptychs incorporates two panels that powerfully juxtapose topographical views of urban and natural landscapes with minimalist representations of water or sky, for example. The surfaces of her paintings are rich in color, natural in feel, and challenge the viewer to see behind and through the landscape.

Molly Dilworth is a painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Dilworth’s pieces are typically large, site-specific painting installations that exist in alternative spaces – for example, on the rooftops of buildings or the surfaces of streets and sidewalks in public spaces. Dilworth relies heavily on recycled materials, using discarded house paint instead of purchased paint for her projects. Her temporary, abstract paintings are a result of looking at the world from different perspectives, incorporating historical data, and thinking creatively about the ways in which we define and live in space.

One of Dilworth’s recent projects is Cool Water, Hot Island, a five block, 50,000 square foot painting that covers the surface of Broadway from 47th to 42nd Streets in Times Square. The cool blue colors and wavy patterns evoke water and suggest a river flowing through the center of Times Square, an allusion to the original topography of the area where a stream known as the Great Kill once ran. The painting was installed in June 2010 and will remain for 18 months. In preparation for Cool Water, Hot Island, Dilworth created 39 intimate pour paintings using four different hues of the color blue, achieving beautiful results and variations that she would later use to create the large-scale painting. A collection of Dilworth’s pour paintings will be exhibited in this group exhibition.

Paul Jacobsen’s work explores the impact of civilization on the planet, both condemning and exploiting consumer and commercial images. He tries to visualize a world after the collapse of the modern, industrial environment by painting “anti-civilization billboards, the prettier the better.” His beautiful, mystical scenes of mountains and woods are populated by natural figures or by massive piles of human detritus. All of his pieces are characterized by painterly expertise and images with incongruous elements. The Gallery will feature three large-scale charcoal drawings that are a result of the artist’s experimentation with a handmade camera obscura, and his devotion to exploring the relationship between the human figure and landscape. These drawings will be presented in frames that the artist has charred with fire to further demonstrate the concepts within his work.

Hong Seon Jang is an installation artist and sculptor who explores the fragility in daily life by transforming everyday objects into new forms – giving them new contexts and aesthetic possibilities which challenge mundane and preconceived ideas. Using materials such as recycled magazines, aluminum foil, plastic straws, post-it notes, hot glue and scotch tape, Jang mimics natural forms from the excesses of consumer culture. He describes his philosophy as “striving to actively practice the concepts of the Eastern philosophies of the circulatory life system and the continuous flow of connections.” Jang emphasizes the tensions between the contradictions existing in nature and society, such as physical fragility and danger, renewal and development, and creation and extinction. Jang will create a site-specific installation for this group exhibition, carving and manipulating old National Geographic Magazines in the form of waves to expose layers of culture and history.

Don Stinson lives and works in Colorado and is known for his panoramic vistas that explore the physical and cultural landscapes of the west. Late Twentieth Century practices of cultural geography, land-use planning and topographic photography shape his work. Stinson is drawn to the details of vernacular architecture in the western landscape, the emerging forms of 21st century energy and communication industries such as wind turbines and cell towers as well as the modern ruins of abandoned gas station canopies and drive-in theatre screens. He paints a quietly romantic, yet clear-eyed view of what we make of the landscape and what the landscape eventually makes of us. Stinson will create an installation in the project room of the Gallery for this exhibition, using contemporary metaphors in relation to Greek mythology as a commentary on the environment. Stinson’s work is in the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum and has recently been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

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