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Kinetic Sculpture and Robot Show. For the fourth year in a row, Andenken Gallery has had young Denver sculptor Joe Riché organize a show that highlights the relationship between art and machines. Just like the previous three outings, this year's version is called the Kinetic Sculpture and Robot Show. Riché is the ideal choice for such an undertaking, not only because he's one of the city's top kinetic artists, but also because he's one of the original ringleaders of the Motoman Project, a mostly male troupe of performance artists who build sculptures only to blow them up, among other things. Riché included his own work in the show, as well as the work of another Motoman founder, Zach Smith. In past years, Riché limited the artists invited to his immediate circle of friends, but this time he's done some outreach, in the process snagging Robert Mangold, the dean of Colorado sculptors. Mangold is represented by one of his "PTTSAAES" sculptures, which, though not technically kinetic, does imply movement. Through May 1 at Andenken Gallery, 2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281.

Over a Billion Served. The main winter exhibit at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art is by Julie Segraves, executive director of Denver's Asian Art Coordinating Council, who brought together photos by eleven important conceptual artists now working in China. Conceptual photography is new in China, but so is photography itself, with the widespread availability of cameras dating back only to the 1980s. Segraves has divided the show into three parts: "Strangers in the Cities," which examines the effect of social change on the Chinese people; "Power Politics," which looks at the effect of the Chinese Communist Party; and "The McDonaldization of China," which is self-explanatory. This exhibit is absolutely awesome, and the photos in it are so unusual and so good that they will leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them. Through May 9 at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, 1275 19th Street, 303-298-7554. Reviewed February 19.

3 Search and Converge in the Creative. The Sandy Carson Gallery is the flagship art venue in the Santa Fe Arts district. Its high-quality exhibitions are the reason why -- and the current offering is just the latest example. The impressive exhibit fills the gallery's entire multi-part space, with recent sculptures by Nancy Lovendahl filling the rooms up front. A prominent artist who lives in Snowmass, Lovendahl has long been part of the art scene. She works in ceramics, wood and cast paper, and her abstract pieces typically refer to nature. The photo-based digital images by Lorelei Schott from Boulder, which are displayed in a side gallery, also refer to nature, with the most compelling of the group being from her "Mothblur" series. The show concludes with a tightly focused series of abstract paintings by one of Denver's most noteworthy emerging artists, Jim White. Surprisingly, the essentially abstract-expressionist paintings of scribbled gray lines on an off-white field are based on the landscape -- just like everything else here. Through May 1 at the Sandy Carson Gallery, 760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-8585. Reviewed April 1.

Wet Paint. Though this is being billed as a group show, Wet Paint at the William Havu Gallery is actually a combination of three strong and expansive solos. In the front space, and in the nooks and crannies around it, are Jeffrey Keith's recent all-over abstractions that loosely refer to geometric abstraction. In the window space and around the base of the staircase are abstracts that are densely populated with John Himmelfarb's drawn elements, some of them cartoonish. And finally, in the space in the middle and under the mezzanine are Michael Rubin's out-of-this-world neo-abstract-expressionist monochrome paintings. All three artists' paintings are closely related stylistically, but each has a distinctly different approach, so there's no mistaking who's who. Because the three artists live and work in different big cities, with Keith here in Denver, Himmelfarb in Chicago, and Rubin in New York, Wet Paint proves that classic contemporary abstraction is still relevant. Through April 10 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360. Reviewed March 18.

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