Last week I visited four art galleries in downtown Denver but wrote about only the first two. Today I’ll review two smaller galleries on the northwestern side of Wazee.
According to its website, Translations Gallery offers “a diverse range of contemporary styles to enhance the interior design of your home or office.” It was, I think, the smallest of the four galleries, and is featuring the Peruvian tapestries of Maximo Laura and the stoneware sculptures of Ruth Borgenicht until July 25.
Laura’s bright tapestries have their origins in Andean mythology (image courtesy of Translations Gallery). When I first saw them, I thought of the paintings of Marc Chagall but later decided that was a superficial comparison, based on the two artists’ use of color and my perception that some of the figures in the tapestries seemed to be flying.
I was drawn more to Borgenicht’s sculptures (image courtesy of Translations Gallery), which I thought of as “bowls” until Director Kate Chimenti reshaped one in front of me. It’s a good thing I don’t own one because I’d spend all my time playing with it. She told me that Borgenicht fires the individual rings partway, assembles them into chain mail forms, and fires them again.
Just a few doors down is Visions West Galleries, one of three locations in the western United States (the other two are in Bozeman and Livingston, Montana). The cowboy paintings of Duke Beardsley (not pictured) greeted me as I walked in, reinforcing the statement from the website that the “gallery has a strong commitment to promoting contemporary artists from the West,” but other works indicate the owners have a broad range of interests.
My personal favorites were the paintings by Babette Herschberger, especially “Blue House,” and Brad Rude’s whimsical folk art sculptures of animals with human impediments (or enhancements, depending on your point of view).
Before I left Visions West, I asked Becky, who was working at the gallery that day, if she had any favorites. She pointed out the technical excellence of Rude’s sculptures and her fascination with the lack of beginnings or endings in Grant Haffner’s “road” paintings. I left feeling informed and energetic and hungry for cupcakes from Mermaids Bakery on Champa, but that story will have to wait for another day.