Artbeat

Brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

Here's a delicious irony: Many of the artists exploring what's inaccurately called "the cutting edge" are in their fifties, sixties and even seventies, while many of the twenty-somethings are into traditional art. Go figure.

This youthful interest in traditional art is amply demonstrated by an important show titled cadence at -- of all places -- the Space Gallery (765 Santa Fe Drive, 720-904-1088). The handsome exhibit features work by three very good realist painters, all of whom are in their twenties.

The show begins with Wes Magyar's idiosyncratic paintings of the figure, which have a lot of narrative content. One depicts two people who look like cavemen -- well, except that they are wearing suits. According to Magyar, the painting is about survival. In another, "The Vow" (above), two nude men are seen sitting on a bed while sewing themselves together. For Magyar, the piece comments on current events surrounding same-sex marriage. "I was married recently," Magyar says, "and I started to think that any relationship, regardless of politics, is about being together."

Opposite the Magyars are a group of remarkable paintings by Lui Ferreyra that depict people sleeping. These paintings all share a brooding palette and are really exceptional. Ferreyra's style recalls paint-by-number paintings, but that wasn't his intention. He wanted to reduce the figures into abstract shapes.

Finally, there's Lucong, a rising star in town. Looking at his expertly done pieces, it's hard to believe that the artist is self-taught -- and even harder to fathom that he's only been doing it for the past couple of years! The paintings are enormous and feature monumental figures. A number of them are erotic studies of young women, but Lucong also does straightforward studies of both women and men. He organized and sponsored this compelling show while Space director Michael Burnett is in Scotland.

Though originally set to close at the end of June, cadence has been extended to July 13.

 
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