Me Water and Within at Walker Fine Art
Walker Fine Art Gallery in the Prado building on 11th & Cherokee Streets (in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District) presents two exhibits of artwork by artists from opposite sides of the Earth. The paintings by Udo Noger (from Germany) and the sculpture of Kazu Oba (from Japan) both portray the transient and insubstantial.
The art of internationally known artist, Udo Noger gives physicality to something as abstract as light itself in his presentation entitled ‘Me Water.’ Noger employs light in his canvases as an extension of the centuries old Western quest to portray space. Noger seems to have placed almost nothing on the surfaces of the paintings, so our attention is drawn within. Floating one behind the other, from five to ten layers of whisper-fine linen convey great depth as some are pierced or slashed and others painted in the most airy way. We are left with only the suggestion of line or form in these consistently engaging works. Noger worked in Denver from 1990 to 1992 under a Nixdorf Grant and has shown here frequently since.
Oba studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder and now resides in the area. He comes from a ceramics tradition with an understanding of object as vessel, which continues in his sculptural pursuits. In this collection of more than a dozen works called “Within,” the contents are imagined. There is an “Aspiration to an ideal rather than realization of an object,” as Kazu puts it. A poem of his composition accompanies the press announcement.
Like a flower
almost to bloom
is nothing yet, but waits
Most of the pieces here were hewn from large sections of freshly cut tree trunks. Finished with polished surfaces that are stained, oiled or pickled, they are imparted with a lightness that belies the mass we know they had at their inception. Taught by his ceramics master that a cup or bowl is unfinished until it is before a person with food in it, Kazu has carried this philosophy into his sculpture. He has stated that he feels that it is necessary to leave portions of his sculpture unresolved, so that the viewer is engaged in fulfilling the work. “Their incompleteness invites collaboration with us who see the potential ideal, the possible fulfillment of their empty spaces. … They contain what we bring to them.”
Using something as ephemeral as light or the potential for capacity as the subject matter for art, places some unique demands upon the viewer, but Noger and Oba both reveal a universal respect of nature through their beautiful and mysterious objects that is intriguing. The exhibits run through November 3rd.
Editors Note: We regret that we had Kazu Oba’s name incorrect in the first paragraph of this story. It has been corrected.