Current and upcoming exhibits in the Denver Metro Area, sorted alphabetically by gallery/museum
- Published on February 06, 2013
- Written by Rupert Jenkins
AIDS Adagio: Wes Kennedy - Albert Winn
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities
December 13, 2012 – February 14, 2013
- Curated by Simon Zalkind
- Details online at the Fulginiti Pavilion Website
Wes Kennedy - Cheating Death -1986
Albert Winn - Akedah - 1995
Albert Winn - Akedah - 1995
AIDS ADAGIO is a two-person show of B&W photography that symbolizes the evolution of AIDS itself, from inevitable death sentence to manageable healthfulness. It features the work of Albert Winn, who is HIV positive and still living, and Wes Kennedy, who died of AIDS in 1993.
Kennedy has to be one of Denver’s greatest artists, which makes this a must-see show for anyone interested in our regional photo history. It’s easy to feel that his imagery overshadows that of Winn but, in fact, this excellent show is finely balanced and the approaches taken by each artist are emotionally complementary. Winn’s seemingly dispassionate, focused vision is countered throughout by Kennedy’s increasingly manic, blurred, and metaphorically loaded work. What unites them and their work, of course, are the ravages of AIDS.
In the condensed Anschutz campus gallery space one can see how each artist’s progression inversely mirrors the others’. Winn’s focus shifts from clinical documents using band-aids-on-skin to signify the HIV permeating his body, to domestic self-portraits of the photographer at home with his partner—an ongoing series taken over the course of more than 20 years. Conversely, Kennedy shifts his approach from Francesca Woodman-esque self-portraits made in the mid-80s, to morbidly flamboyant collages reminiscent of Joel-Peter Witkin’s constructed Babylonia, or Bruce Connor’s staccato movies. They are enshrined in what Zalkind evocatively calls “a spiritual lexicon of martyrdom, affliction, and suffering.”
For anyone of a certain age having lived in a city with a significant gay population, any of these series’ will conjure up memories of seeing or caring for skeletal men in wheelchairs, remnants of their former selves, destined to die of an awful disease known for a time as “the Gay Plague.” AIDS ADAGIO is a powerful reminder of those times, yet it also affirms that now, in this country at least, dying is not an inevitable option for people with AIDS. Furthermore it affirms that, in the hands of a true artist, hardship can produce a powerful legacy of visionary and inspirational art making. - Rupert Jenkins
Rupert Jenkins is Executive Director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center
The Art Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
13080 East 19th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm; Free and open to the public
Driving Directions: Visitors are advised to enter the Anschutz Medical Campus via Montview Boulevard to access visitor parking sites. The Fulginiti Pavilion is located on East 19th Avenue between Uvalda Court (east) and Racine Street (west). From the west, enter campus from Peoria Street on Montview, and turn south on Uvalda Court. From the east, enter campus from Fitzsimons Parkway on Montview, and turn south on Uvalda Court. The Georgetown Visitor Parking Lot is on the southeastern corner of Uvalda Court and East 19th Avenue.