Artbeat

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

Every year at this time, LoDo's David Cook Fine Art (1637 Wazee Street, 303-623-8181) presents a group show that's filled with museum-quality pieces by a who's who of Western artists working during the last part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. This is an important period, and pieces from the era have become increasingly popular with collectors.

This year's version of Cook's Western exhibit is called Colorado and the West, and there's only one difference between it and the previous outings: a sooner-than-usual closing date. Instead of playing all summer, as was the practice in the past, this year the show is about to close before summer even begins. The gallery will be temporarily shut down during renovations on the floor above.

Colorado and the West includes more than 100 vintage prints, watercolors and paintings by a number of the region's best-remembered artists. Cook is particularly good at unearthing pieces associated with the major art institutions of the day. Some of the artists, for example, are those who taught at Denver's Chappell House, which played a role in the establishment of both the Denver Art Museum and the art school at the University of Denver. There are also works by artists from the Broadmoor Academy in Colorado Springs and the art colonies in Taos and Santa Fe.

There is a range of styles included, with impressionist and expressionist pieces from the early 1900s as well as realist and modernist ones from the '30s and '40s. Featured artists include Charles Bunnell, whose "Untitled (Colorado Landscape)" is seen above, along with Birger Sandzén, Charles Partridge Adams, Vance Kirkland, Ethel Magafan, Peppino Mangravite, Howard Schleeter and Boardman Robinson.

As noted above, the Western art extravaganza at David Cook closes earlier than expected -- on June 4 -- so plan accordingly.

 
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