scene Colorado/sin Colorado. The Denver Art Museum's local extravaganza, scene Colorado/sin Colorado, has quickly become one of the most talked-about shows this year. And that's no surprise considering that it includes more than three dozen Colorado artists represented by more than seventy works of art. Dianne Vanderlip, curator of modern and contemporary art, organized the exhibit, pulling work from the impressive holdings of the DAM's permanent collection. A couple of the artists included no longer live here -- notably Gary Sweeney, whose piece inspired the show's title, and "genius grant" recipient Robert Adams -- but their works in this show were created when they did. Vanderlip decided to exclude deceased Colorado artists -- and that's too bad. However, even with this limitation, she's undeniably assembled a worthy cavalcade of talent. The pieces date back over the past quarter century, which is the period during which Vanderlip has held the modern and contemporary reins at the DAM. Though far from encyclopedic, the show does cover a lot of ground. Through August 22 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000. Reviewed June 17.
State of the Union and The Sociable Anchorite. Earlier this season, Cordell Taylor Gallery and Ron Judish Fine Art merged into the new +Zeile/Judish Gallery, which meant that some of the artists represented by each gallery would have to go. They put the artists into three categories: represented, exhibiting, and those who were unceremoniously shown the door. The first category --artists represented by the gallery -- is the subject of the great group show State of the Union. Most of the artists chosen are thoroughly established figures, including realist John Hull, abstract expressionist Al Wynne, minimalist Paul Sarkisian and post-minimalist Bruce Price. But there are also a handful of emerging artists, such as Colin Livingston and Karen McClanahan. The result is wild, requiring aesthetic gear changes every few feet. In addition to State of the Union, +Zeile/Judish is presenting a small solo, The Sociable Anchorite, for which Oregon artist Gabriel Liston created a wall of tiny paintings of storybook figures. They're done in blue on white, which makes them look like Delft tiles. Through July 3 at +Zeile/Judish, 2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927. Reviewed June 17.
20th Anniversary Show -- Tony Ortega and Michael Brangoccio. In 1984, William Havu began art-business relationships with two painters, Tony Ortega and Michael Brangoccio, and all these years later, he still handles their work. To celebrate, he's put together the 20th Anniversary Show -- Tony Ortega and Michael Brangoccio at his eponymous gallery. The Ortegas, some of which are monumental, are signature examples of his style, but there are also some new elements. Using figural abstraction, Ortega conjures up the Latino community, both here and throughout the Americas, and in some, he incorporates found imagery. Brangoccio is a surrealist, assembling highly realistic renderings of animals -- especially birds that are caught in unlikely or even impossible situations. In addition to the Ortega/Brangoccio duet on the main floor, there's a solo, Michael Burrows. This artist's specialty is hyperrealism, and he creates photographically accurate landscapes using only graphite and paper. He also does equally detailed paintings in psychedelic colors. Through July 17 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360.