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.
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.
North American Sculpture Exhibition. The selections for this year's version of the always-important though invariably quirky North American Sculpture Exhibition at Foothills Art Center in Golden were made by celebrity artist James Surls, who gained fame in Texas but now lives in Colorado. Surls put together an oddball display dominated by figural sculptures; some of them are pretty uninspired and doctrinaire examples of neo-traditionalism, but others are convincingly contemporary. However, it's undeniable that Surls was very conservative in his picks. Artists in the show hail from around the country, but, as in the past, the single biggest group is from Colorado -- though there are fewer locals than ever and even fewer who are well known. Among the area artists who got their work through the aesthetic obstacle course set up by Surls are Patricia Aaron, Alicia Bailey, Marie E.v.B. Gibbons, Bonnie Ferrill Roman, Maureen K. Scott, Jan Steinhauser and Sumi Von Dassow. Among the many artists from elsewhere are Tyler Meadows Davis from Utah, Lazar Christian Fonkin from British Columbia and Jonathan W. Hils from Oklahoma. Through June 6 at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, Golden, 303-279-3922.
Robert Rauschenberg. Rule Gallery is currently featuring Robert Rauschenberg: Selected Prints, 1990-2001, a compelling show that highlights prints by this pop-art pioneer. Master printers from New York's Universal Limited Art Editions pulled all the Rauschenbergs here, and the artist has a longtime relationship with them. Though the prints in this exhibit date back only a decade or so, Rauschenberg's been associated with prominent print atelier Universal Limited for nearly half a century; he first met the studio's founder, Tatyana Grosman, in the late 1950s. Rauschenberg is known for using expressively altered photographic images laid over one another to create abstract compositions -- and evidence of his influence on generations of artists is ubiquitous. The Rule show samples three series by Rauschenberg: "Soviet/American Array," assemblages of photos taken in Russia and the United States; "Ground Rules," done in the unusual and archaic photogravure technique; and "Ruminations," which explores imagery of his own past. On Saturday, April 24, at 5 p.m., Bill Goldston, director of ULAE, will give a talk at the gallery about his friendship with Rauschenberg. Through May 8 at Rule Gallery, 111 Broadway, 303-777-9473.