In addition to the Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Andy Miller solos (see page 40) displayed in the front and middle sections of + Gallery (2350 Lawrence Street, 303-296-0927), there's a small exhibit with the epic title ofSelections From the Western Edition of New American Paintingsinstalled in the back.
The show is made up of pieces by the four + artists whose work was chosen for New American Paintings, a juried exhibition catalogue that focuses on different parts of the country at different times. The current issue, in which the four make an appearance, is about art in the West.
The artists are William Betts of Texas, Lenka Konopasek of Utah, Denver-resident-turned-New-York-artist Karen McClanahan, and Denverite Jenny Morgan, one of the hottest young artists in the area. Juror Fereshteh Daftari, an assistant curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art, took a broad view, as is evidenced by the different styles of this quartet. Betts and McClanahan are exploring neo- and post-minimalism, respectively; Konopasek delves into neo-pop; and Morgan is involved with contemporary realism.
Morgan's had a hot year in 2005. Not only did the twenty-something painter get her efforts into New American Paintings, but she's had a work acquired by the Fine Arts Museum of Key West, and another piece is a semi-finalist in the Outwin Boochever 2006 Portraiture Competition, which is sponsored by the Smithsonian.
There was a problem with this last opportunity: The painting, originally submitted "Tail, We Chase Our Own Tail, #1," wound up being sold to a collector before the gallery was notified that Morgan was in the running. The collector was unwilling to loan the painting back, but the competition allowed Morgan to submit a new piece, "Falling Into" (above), at the last possible minute. Fortunately, that one made the cut as well.
+ Gallery was closed during the holidays -- right in the middle of this and the other shows' runs there -- so many may have missed the opportunity to check it out. But there's still time: The current attractions close on January 14.