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Opening: Zach Reini & Sierra Montoya Barela

May 17, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


David B. Smith Gallery is pleased to present “Not Much Will Change When I’m Gone,” a solo exhibition of new works by Zach Reini.

For his debut with the gallery, Reini will present a diverse array of works ranging from shaped canvas panels to found object assemblage. Rendered in his meticulously crafted style, he takes inspiration from cultural ephemera of the ‘90s, namely, Pogs. Envisioned as the embodiment of disposable trends, imagery, color palette, and composition are culled from classic Pogs, which are then reproduced in comparatively monumental scale. In his futile effort to return to the blip in time when Pogs enjoyed popularity, Reini questions the utility of nostalgia and the fickle nature of commercialized cultural systems.

Pogs, also known as milk-caps, were the primary elements of a game that swept 1990s by storm. Highly collectible, with customizable game-play, the rules of Pogs could change from person to person, effectively posturing itself as vehicle for individuality. Now almost entirely forgotten, aside from the occasional nostalgic remembrance, the rise and fall of Pogs as cultural icon acts as metaphor for larger social systems. Reviving imagery and phrases printed on the original game pieces, Reini conjures the past to then preserve in a New Age tomb.

Part weighted rumination on the nature of success inexorably marked by capitalism and part bold visual frenzy, Reini tempts deeper realization by revisiting a mercurial flash in the pan. “Not Much Will Change When I’m Gone” rifles through the past to better understand the present, pulling out dusty old boxes from the back of the closet only to find that things are pretty much the same.

About Zach Reini
Zach Reini (b.1990) has gained notoriety for his paintings and sculptures that use a visual archive of popular and subcultural symbols in constant cycles of appropriation. Reini exploits this open field of imagery with a wry aesthetic to create objects at once familiar to many contexts, yet particular to none. Reini’s artwork has been exhibited in the US and Europe including solo exhibitions in Miami, Chicago, New York, Kansas City, Milan and Denver. His works have been displayed in multiple art fairs including NADA New York and Miami as well as Material, Mexico City, ArtBo, Bogota, and Untitled, Miami Beach. Reini has been featured in a solo exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and was most recently featured in the exhibition Thief Among Thieves at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.

David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present “Living Room” by Sierra Montoya Barela, a solo exhibition in the gallery’s project room.

In her latest body of work, Montoya Barela delves into questions of perspective, traditional representation, still life, and symbolism, as pertaining to painting. Articulated in four substantial works, impossible spaces where laws of physical matter are broken and reconstructed yield familiar yet strange results. In these dreamlike spaces, Montoya Barela juxtaposes detailed textures with hard lines, intentionally creating visual rifts in her interior scenes. “Living Room” offers a viewing experience that never reaches a finite conclusion, but rather turns over and back on itself as constructed perspective lures the eye between undulating floorboards and the silent hands of ticking clocks.

Within her domestic interiors, resting on countertops or shifting between wooden legs, Montoya Barela’s scenes are rife with classic symbols present throughout Western art history, as well as those with unique personal meaning. Often painting from digital drawings and collages she creates prior, her playful take on still life is a nod to convention while looking decidedly forward. With the occasional figure breezing by before they’re identified or back corner that contorts into foreground, “Living Room” cleverly asks more questions than it answers. Embracing her impossible, invented spaces, Montoya Barela remarks, “they feel like places I’d see myself in.”

About Sierra Montoya Barela
Sierra Montoya Barela is an artist living and working in Denver, Colorado. Barela earned a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and was an Artist-In-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center and the Horned Dorset Colony later that year. She has since shown her work in various group and solo exhibitions, most recently at the Museo de las Americas (Denver, CO), Yes Ma’am Projects (Denver, CO) and as part of the Octopus Initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.


May 17, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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David B. Smith Gallery
1543 Wazee St, Ste A
Denver, CO 80202 United States
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(303) 893-4234