Group Dynamics

There's something for everyone at Foothills, CVA and Rule.

One of the most interesting conclusions of the show is how many of these Metro art teachers are also among the area's most talked-about artists, while even more of them are entirely unknown. Don't dawdle: Anthology is almost at the end of its very brief three-week run and is set to close Saturday, August 23.

Another exhibit that's heavy with vanguard art is Rule Gallery's Summer Group Show 2003, which in many ways is just like the show at the CVA -- except it doesn't have a high-minded organizational underpinning. The theme here is much more modest, made up of nothing but an assortment of pieces out of the cozy stock room. It's apparent that those pickings were pretty good, however, because this is the best of the soon-to-be-out-of-season attractions.

"Boar," by Jeff Starr, glazed terra-cotta.
"Boar," by Jeff Starr, glazed terra-cotta.
"Drops of Sky," by Yuko Yagisawa, silver metal.
"Drops of Sky," by Yuko Yagisawa, silver metal.


Colorado Art Open 2003
Through August 24
Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, Golden

Anthology: Metro State Art Faculty
Through August 23
Center for the Visual Arts, 1734 Wazee Street

Summer Group Show 2003/Introductions
Through August 23, Rule Gallery, 111 Broadway

For this show, director Robin Rule moved the wall that had been just a few feet from the front door, pushing it back toward the middle of the gallery and thus creating two separate spaces. The expanded front space is a knockout, and it features two of Denver's modern masters, Clark Richert and Dale Chisman. Showing alongside them are three emerging painters: Addrienne Amato and Michele Bury, who are just a year or two out of art school, and Wilma Fiori, who completed her formal studies in the early 1950s, when Chisman and Richert were still in grade school. Fiori is a major up-and-comer, proving you're never too old to be the new kid on the art-scene block. All five delve into formalism, with Chisman at the abstract-expressionist end of the movement and Richert at the opposite pole, doing mathematically calculated hard edges. Somewhere in between are Amato, Bury and Fiori.

"I wanted to tie the show into 10 + 10, so I thought of including Wilma, immediately," says Rule, referring to the 2003 Colorado Biennial at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to Fiori, Summer Group Show includes three other artists from 10 + 10, Phil Bender, David Brady and Jeff Starr.

Starr, who has been known since the 1980s for his quirky narrative paintings, has redirected his art career and is now also an amazingly accomplished ceramic sculptor. The two pieces here, both in expertly modeled forms made of fired terra-cotta and featuring naturalistic modeling, are knockouts. "Golden Monkey" sports a spectacular Italianate gold luster glaze, and "Boar" has a multi-dimensional brown finish that recalls classic Chinese glazes.

Supplementing Summer Group Show, Rule is presenting a small solo, Introductions, spotlighting recent work by Tom Beresford. The exhibit, made of digitally produced landscape photos executed in archival inkjet prints, takes over much of the informal viewing room in the back. The essentially abstract pieces have evocative titles, such as "Weapons Testing, Aurora, Colorado" and "The Convergence of Ross and Office Depot, Aurora, Colorado," that are accurately descriptive but at odds with the lyrical artworks they refer to.

Beresford's Introductions is part of a series of shows that opened at galleries around town in a program endorsed by the Denver Art Dealers Association, in which unknown artists would take the center stage in August. Now the month is nearly over, as are the runs of Summer Group Show and Introductions, which close this Saturday, August 23.

There are many who complain to me that there's too little art being done in Colorado. Yet right now, there's the Colorado Art Open, Anthology and Summer Group Show -- not to mention 10 + 10 -- in which, collectively speaking, there are nearly 200 Colorado artists with work on view, and that's amazing. Even more amazing is that only about a score of them are known to anyone other than their friends and family, which means there are lots of new names to recall. And this long roster of talent does not include the crew featured in the group show now at Andenken Gallery.

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