In a group show that opened on Friday, the David B Smith Gallery in Denver broughttogether five artists with differing mediums that shared a unitive theme of exploringthe human relationship with nature in one way or another. From large installations thatcover numerous city blocks to images made from scotch tape on chalkboards, thevarying work peered into the changing face of the natural world resulting from humanimpact.“All of the artists that are here relate their work back to nature, consumption, and theway that we as humans inhabit the earth and use resources,” said gallery owner DavidSmith. – Marisa Ware
Artist Molly Dilworth covered five city blocks in Times Square with a 50,000 squarefoot painting called Cool Water, Hot Island. The piece, a medley of different shades offlowing blue shapes, gives a nod to the Great Kill stream that used to run through NewYork.“She uses it to reference a calmer, cooler time in the land that used to be New York Citybefore all the buildings,” Smith said.As part of her process, Dilworth created a series of 39 pour paintings of reclaimedacrylic paint. She then photoshopped certain sections out and recombined them tocreate the final piece. Sixteen of the original pour paintings were on display at thegallery in Denver.
Korean artist Hong Seon Jang created “an accretion of stratum-like forms creepingdown the wall with years worth of National Geographic magazines.” By carvingback the pages, he exposed layers of disconnected images that create an intricatecohesive piece as a whole. In his two other pieces on display, he used scotch tape onchalkboards to construct pictures of natural imagery that have a distinctly precise, digitallook.
Jang – detail
In a departure from his usual work, landscape painter Don Stinson investigates ideasabout the changing nature of energy, alternative fuel sources, and fuel consumptionthrough his detailed charcoal drawings of gas pumps, lighters, and spark pugs. Theintimate, monochromatic drawings are contrasted by a lurid watercolor landscapepainting, more in line with Stinton’s typical vistas that explore the physical and culturallandscapes of the west.
Stinson – detail
Lanny DeVuono’s work also examines environmental change, but through juxtaposingscenes of natural beauty with landscapes cluttered with buildings or historicalreferences. “Most of her work is either a diptych or a triptych that combines a beautifulimage with another that’s a little more catastrophic,” Smith said.
Lanny DeVuono – detail
The final artist of the show, Paul Jacobsen, used a conceptual idea to create threelustrous drawings reminiscent of the realism of European masters. The seriesinvestigated how a grid crash or end of cheap oil would affect his artistic process, whichusually involves using photoshop, a digital camera, a computer, and a printer to helpconstruct the images that he then paints. Instead, for this project, he built a cameraobscura to experiment with the device’s ability to project images. SInce the imagesend up being projected upside down and reversed, he chose to hang one piece upsidedown, with the other two pieces mirroring each other. “He almost has this fantasy ofgetting back to nature and experiencing it in its most basic, raw and primal state,” Smithsaid.
Paul Jacobsen – detail