Gallery 1261 exterior, Golden Triangle, Denver 2009Gallery 1261
1261 Delaware
Golden Triangle, Denver
Bus directions: Catch the 52 from 17th and Larimer to 13th and Bannock; walk to Delaware

Gallery 1261 was packed. Located on an unprepossessing street in the Golden Triangle neighborhood of Denver, it didn’t seem like the kind of place that would draw such a crowd. But they were there not just for Golden Triangle Museum District‘s first Friday art walk, not just for the luscious raspberry cake from Gateaux

“It’s all frosting!” Todd said. I think he was complaining.
Why, yes, it is, I thought. And that is good.

—but for an opening reception for Beyond the Object Project.

That name gets me every time because I remember the night Todd and I went to hear Project Object perform in Five Points years ago. Instead of a gallery dedicated to commemorating Frank Zappa’s music, though, I found a gallery “dedicated to presenting excellent work that reflects the artists’ most creative side, done without the constraints of marketability in mind.”

That must be why Will Wilson’s stunning portrait of a black man with short dreadlocks pulled back from his face was going for $32,000.

Without the constraints of marketability is what I dealt with when I worked for Fiction Collective 2, some 16 years ago when it still had an office in Boulder. Without the constraints of marketability means no money or Get those grant applications out!

I wonder what would happen to me if I could afford that painting. Would I suddenly stop resenting the price? Would I stop wondering how long it really could have taken Mr. Wilson to paint that portrait? Would I stop wondering why on earth anything besides a car or a boat or a house should cost that much? Or would I buy expensive things and bring them into my house and still resent them?

How stupid to be a Venusian with an ascetic side. Or, more accurately, how jealous of me. What’s the point of trying to make money if you can’t ever enjoy it?

Luckily, the art itself was mostly intriguing. Skip the pompous description on the website and look at the works by the featured artists. My favorite piece was this sculpture by Philip Maior, which truly embodies my feelings about the nastier aspects of Christianity.

And here is Todd, still holding his cake plate and taking in a painting by Scott Fraser.Todd in Gallery 1261, Golden Triangle, Denver 2009

We circled the gallery a few times, and then I led him to the Native American Trading Company, where I introduced him to Robin and Jack and lingered over the Mesa Verde pot they keep in the back room. Robin said that Gallery 1261 does good business, and she is the expert on the Golden Triangle.

Then it was off to Cuba Cuba for a late dinner. See you there in the next post!

Leave A Comment

  1. BernardL March 10, 2009 at 6:31 am - Reply

    I don’t think I share your choice of a favorite, Beth. 🙂

    BernardL’s last blog post..Last Note on Vegas

  2. Beth Partin March 10, 2009 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Well, I can understand that, Bernard. It’s not to everyone’s taste. It just struck me as I walked in.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..What Is the Objective?

  3. Vered - MomGrind March 10, 2009 at 11:48 am - Reply

    It’s striking, but nothing I would want to buy for my house. 🙂

    I share your thoughts on the cost of art. Once in a while I go into a gallery not just to look at the art but to inquire about the prices. I never found anything that I felt was worth the price tag.

  4. Beth Partin March 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm - Reply


    I don’t think I would want it in my house either, but it definitely got my attention.

    Of course, the cost of art is not the only consideration–if you’re going to buy art that costs thousands of dollars, you need a room to do it justice and, most likely, an alarm system.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..What Is the Objective?

  5. […] that point we beat a quick retreat to Gallery 1261, which was much quieter, and had cake for an appetizer. Only the first of the evening, it would […]

  6. […] on Wednesday. What I liked best: the art felt close to my life. Unlike the shiny oil paintings in Gallery 1261, the textiles and photographs seemed like something I could make, if I […]