By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
IGOR MOUKHIN. Camera Obscura Gallery is presenting an impressive solo, IGOR MOUKHIN: Contemporary Russian Photography, which examines the work of one of the former Soviet Union's most famous contemporary photographers. Moukhin gained prominence in the 1980s as part of a generation of underground artists who emerged in Moscow during the final years of Soviet rule. One series, started at that time, recorded crumbling Soviet monuments, while another comprised portraits of Russian artists, including those who fled to the West. There's no question, however, that the photographer's candid street shots, done both in his home town and in Paris, are what established his international reputation. The show at Camera Obscura includes many of his most famous images, including several of those street photos. Interestingly, this offering is one of two Moukhin exhibits being presented locally; the other is at the Hatton Gallery on the Colorado State University campus, where Moukhin is a visiting artist this term. Through May 2 at Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock Street, 303-623-4059.
Kinetic and Robot Show. The spacious if grungy Andenken Gallery (2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281) near Coors Field is the perfect setting for the fourth annual Kinetic and Robot Show put together by director Hyland Mather. The pieces included by Mather vary so widely in style and medium, and the show is so crowded, that it only makes sense to look at it as separate fragments rather than a single entity. The first of these threads is made up of motorized sculptures, including machine art by Motomen members Joe Riché and Zach Smith. In addition, there are credible contraptions by promising newcomer Paul Norton. (This is the kind of thing that dominated the three previous versions of this show.) The second thread takes up abstract paintings by Kelly Newcomer and Richel Martinez that barely relate to the rest of the inclusions. The third is an installation of engaging, bouncing balloon sculptures by Harry Walters and Paola Ochoa. And the last, but definitely not the least, is a single formalist piece by Robert Mangold, the dean of Denver sculpture. Despite being uneven and incoherent, the Kinetic and Robot Show is somehow pretty enjoyable. Through April 30 at Andenken Gallery, 2110 Market Street, 303-292-3281. Reviewed April 15.
Jules Olitski: Half a Life's Work. The Singer Gallery at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture is presenting an important show, Jules Olitski: Half a Life's Work: Selected Paintings 1972-2002. Guest-curator William Biety, director of the Sandy Carson Gallery, organized the exhibit and was able to get the paintings in it straight from the artist, as the two are longtime friends. Born in Russia in 1922, Olitski gained fame in the 1950s and '60s with ultra-hip color-field paintings created by staining and spraying the canvases. These paintings made him one of the key post-painterly artists of that time. But the Singer show picks up the story in the '70s (hence the reference to half a life's work in the title), when Olitski was moving away from stains and toward thick, heavy coats of paint mounded up in peaks of impasto. These paintings were often carried out in iridescent pigments developed especially for him. In the '90s, Olitski made the radical -- for a non-objective artist like him -- shift to landscape painting, but for the past couple of years, he has been returning to his roots with poured and stained paintings. Through June 2 at the Singer Gallery, 350 South Dahlia Street, 303-399-2660.
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.