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
Leaving AztlŠn. The Center for Visual Art in LoDo is presenting the provocative show Leaving Aztlán: Rethinking Contemporary Latino and Chicano Art. Kaytie Johnson, from the Peeler Art Center at DePauw University, put it together with input from CVA director Kathy Andrews, among others. The show examines new trends being embraced by Latino and Chicano artists -- and by Latinas and Chicanas -- and in the process explores the convoluted relationships between art and ethnicity. Ten years ago this would have been an overtly political show, but now, although politics are still in the mix, there are also many pieces that express cutting-edge aesthetic theories. Artists from across the country -- including Jesse Amado, Connie Arismendi, Javier Carmona, Alex Donis, Diana Guerrero-Mácia, John Hernandez, Benito Huerta, Chuck Ramirez, Juan Ramos and Rubén Ortiz Torres -- were selected, but Johnson also chose two local talents, Carlos Frésquez and Maria Michelle Gonzalez. A reception for the artists, curator Johnson and collector Cheech Marin is scheduled for February 24 from 6 to 9 pm. Through April 23 at the Center for Visual Art, 1734 Wazee Street, 303-294-5207.
IN LIMBO. Internationally known contemporary-art collectors Vicki and Kent Logan maintain a residence in Vail and, lucky for us, have become involved in the cultural life of Colorado. In addition to providing a raft of works partially promised to the Denver Art Museum, the collecting couple has facilitated a relationship between the museum and the University of Denver. IN LIMBO is the second Logan-connected show at DU, but the first in which students -- under the direction of curator and professor Gwen Chanzit -- have been allowed to use the DAM's Logan Collection as well the couple's private stash to come up with it. More often than not, too many cooks spoil the broth, but not in this case. The show is first-rate but surprisingly conservative, considering the tender ages of the organizers. The students chose mostly representational paintings and photographs, and there are only two sculptures. Among the artists included are Bo Bartlett, Jack Pierson, Ron Mueck, Cindy Sherman, Su-En Wong, and almost a dozen others. Through March 11 at the Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue, 303-871-2846. Reviewed January 20.
James Westwater. The current solo in the main space at the Rule Gallery is James Westwater; 10 Years, Geometric Narcissism, 1995-2005. This is not the first time Westwater has had his work exhibited in Denver, but this is the first major offering. The Rule show is a brief survey of the conceptual artist's work done during the time he's lived in Santa Fe, where he moved in 1994. For Westwater, who exhibits his pieces nationally, "geometric narcissism" explains what he's doing, specifically using simple shapes, most often ovals, Westwater marks the surface of his pieces as if he were putting a personal stamp on them. In the late'90s, Westwater put the shapes within neo-minimalist formats -- and they look a lot like Ellsworth Kelly's compositions -- but in the later pieces, he puts the shapes on top of appropriated images and found objects, including a reproduction of a seascape, a sheet of faux bois laminate and a suitcase. Through March 5 at the Rule Gallery, 111 Broadway, 303-777-9473. Reviewed February 3.
Lines of Position and Rudiments. Technically speaking, Lines of Position and Rudiments, at Sandy Carson Gallery, are separate solos, but they've been outlandishly installed together as a duet. Lines of Position features wall-hung sculptures by Jeremy Jernegan, while Rudiments comprises recent abstract paintings by Floyd Tunson. Jernegan's work is precise and intimate, Tunson's expressive and bold. Their pieces shouldn't work well together, but for some reason they do. The whole thing looks stunning, even if viewers are constantly forced to shift their attention from one to the other. Jernegan teaches ceramics at Louisiana's Tulane University, but these recent pieces are something else, because they don't look like ceramics; they look like photos. Jernegan uses a photo silkscreen, pushing fine slip through the screen instead of ink and using a clay slab instead of paper. Manitou Springs-based Tunson has been a mainstay of Colorado's contemporary scene since the '70s. A neo-pop artist, he swings back and forth between representational and -- as in these pieces --abstraction. Through February 26 at Sandy Carson Gallery, 760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-8585
Pictures From Sonny's Place, et al. Nationally known Colorado painter John Hull has been described in the New Yorker as a combination of Corot and Quentin Tarantino. That tongue-in-check appraisal really hits the mark with Pictures From Sonny's Place, now at + Gallery. The paintings are set in a junkyard, the "Sonny's Place" of the title. Hull's established method is to create a series of related paintings based on sketches done in the field. Each paintings has a narrative component that connects it to the others. When all the paintings are taken together, the narratives build on one another creating a plot worthy of a novel. All Hull's favorite subjects are here, in particular young thugs and the cars -- in this case, wrecked ones -- that are at the center of their lives. Paired with Hull's solo is Selections From New American Paintings, Issue #54, which includes pieces by Waddy Armstrong, David Leonard, Kevin Lucero Less, Thuong Nguyen and Kate Petley. Through February 19 at the + Gallery, 2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927.
Siqueiros. The exhibition Siqueiros: Spirit of a Revolutionary, at the Museo de las Américas, is evidence that the beleaguered institution -- which all but collapsed last year -- is still alive and kicking. The gorgeous exhibit, put together by Alfonso Miranda Marquez of the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, includes more than a score of works by one of the greatest Mexican artists of all time, David Alfaro Siqueiros. Using paintings, drawings and watercolors, Marquez economically surveys the artist's career from the 1910s to the 1970s. Siqueiros was one of "Los Tres Grandes" of the Mexican mural movement, and like the other two -- Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco -- he created work with one eye on vanguard styles developing in Europe and the other on left-wing political action at home in Mexico. An interesting aspect of Siqueiros's style is that it had an influence on artists in the United States -- the social realists as well as the abstract expressionists. The opening reception for Siqueiros will be held Thursday, February 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.; admission is $4 for non-members. Through April 23 at the Museo de las Américas, 861 Santa Fe Drive, 303-571-4401.
Three Dimensions and David Mazza. The William Havu Gallery is presenting Three Dimensions, an ambitious group show made up of monumental sculptures by three important artists working in the West: Denver's Lawrence Argent; Austin's Stephen Daly; and Tempe, Arizona's Mary Bates Neubauer. Argent, who is well known in town for his prominent public commissions, is represented by recent sculptures and several of his cerebral photo-enlargements of pacifiers. Daly is showing his large installation "Controller," along with a selection of his signature heads. A few major Neubauer bronzes are on display, as well as a large selection of smaller cast-iron pieces. On the gallery's mezzanine -- humorously dubbed the "Mazza-nine"-- is David Mazza, which is made up of recent sculptures by the local whiz kid. In addition, Mazza has a new piece installed on the sidewalk near the gallery's entrance and works on display in the sculpture garden out back. Also outside is the work of Michael Clapper. Through March 12 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360.
Upstarts and Matriarchs. Feminism transformed American society in the '70s, allowing female artists to turn the art world upside-down. Surveying this trend is the topic of Upstarts and Matriarchs: Jewish Women Artists and the Transformation of American Art: 1970-Now. The exhibit was curated by Simon Zalkind, the director of the Singer Gallery of the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, who has presented a formidable roster of first-rate shows over the years. It's hard to say that he's out-done himself this time, but he has. The scholarly show is installed both in the main multi-part space and in the nearby atrium gallery. The extra room was needed because Zalkind has included pieces by more than a dozen artists, among them major historical figures such as Judy Chicago, Audrey Flack, Nancy Grossman, Joyce Kozloff, Martha Rosler, Miriam Shapiro, Joan Semmel, Nancy Spero, Joan Snyder and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Through March 27 at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, 350 South Dahlia, 303-399-2660.