Cydney Payton, the director of Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, must be a workaholic. Not only was the groundbreaking for the new David Adjaye-designed building just a month or so ago, but she is now undertaking the most ambitious show of her curatorial career, Decades of Influence: Colorado 1985- present.
The show is being presented at four different locations: the MCA, which is hosting the years 1985 to 1995 ("Home Run," page 51); the Center for Visual Art, showing 1995 to the present; the Carol Keller Project Space, which has an installation; and the Gates Sculpture Triangle, where a small group of outdoor sculptures has been installed.
The Gates Sculpture Triangle is directly across from the Gates World Headquarters Building at 15th and Wewatta streets, within sight of where the new MCA will rise. It has been installed sparingly: Close to Wewatta Street is one of Robert Mangold's famous whirligigs from his "Anemotive Kinetic" series (above); beyond it and off to one side is a Lawrence Argent bronze based on the form of a pacifier; and not far from it is a group of concrete park benches that incorporate figural elements by Carolyn Braaksma. To the other side of the Mangold, as you face the park, is a tremendous wood-and-steel Carl Reed sculpture, the only monumental piece in the show. Reed's aesthetic relies on the juxtaposition of forces, with heavy steel and equally heavy blocks of wood being called on to pull off structural engineering feats. Contrasting all this solidity is the soaring arc that dominates the form of this and many other Reed pieces.
The most outrageous of the group is John McEnroe's "Burka America," a large amorphous shape created by stretching handmade white vinyl over a hidden armature.
The outdoor pieces included in Decades of Influence will remain at the Gates Sculpture Triangle through August 27.