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Art on display

Stewart Oksenhorn

Not long before he died, Harley Baldwin lamented that his Baldwin Gallery, which had become prominent among contemporary artists and collectors, had never been frequented by casual observers. In his last days as interim director of the Aspen Art Museum this weekend, Dean Sobel said the lone regret in his five-year tenure was that he couldn’t alter the perception that the museum was for the elite and educated.Quite literally, exposure to art is as simple as walking through a door and opening one’s eyes. And this weekend provides several excellent opportunities to do so and validate the legacies of Baldwin and Sobel.The Aspen Art Museum features two new examples of artists engaging with present realities. Carlos Garaicoa’s installation “Self-Flagellation, Survival, Insubordination” examines society through the lens of the architectural city. “Kendell Geers: Hung, Drawn & Quartered” is an exhibit of black-and-white drawings and installations that uses the ambiguity of language to explore the complexities of politics, sexuality, racism and violence. Geers will give a lecture today at 5 p.m. at Paepcke Auditorium.The Baldwin Gallery features a suite of drawings by Glenn Ligon that use the text of James Baldwin’s 1953 essay “Stranger in the Village” to get at issues of ethnicity and identity. Also showing are drawings and sculptures by the late James Lee Byars, whose work was influenced by Asian culture, and the multimedia piece “Seven Deadly Sins” by Milton Rosa-Ortiz.And at the David Floria Gallery, there is an opening tonight at 6 p.m. of paintings and drawings by Bill Jensen, whose art is informed by Chinese culture, especially the Fei Fei poetry group that arose in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com


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