Brief reviews of current shows

James Surls, Ligia Bouton and Shark's. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art has gotten a jump on the upcoming season with the star attraction James Surls: A Cut Above, which features selected works by the famous sculptor who made his name in Texas in the '80s but has lived in Colorado since 1998. Surls's medium of choice is carved wood, and his signature is leaving the wood in its subtle array of natural colors. After carving, he assembles his sinuously cut forms into unlikely arrangements, often hanging them from the ceiling. Also on tap is Ligia Bouton: Hybrids, a video that explores identity though wardrobe with a decidedly feminist stamp; Bouton, who lives in Santa Fe, juxtaposes images of herself wearing different outfits like a burkha on one side and a tutu on the other. Finally there's Woodcut Prints From Shark's Ink: Out of the Woods, with works on paper by Betty Woodman, Red Grooms, John Buck, Roy De Forest and others, produced by Bud Shark in his famous print shop in nearby Lyons. Through October 14 at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder, 303-443-2122.

JENNY MORGAN, COLIN LIVINGSTON and JEFF STRAHL. Ivar Zeile's + Gallery is launching the fall season with three solos featuring emerging artists. Up front is JENNY MORGAN: Romantic Comedies, made up of edgy representational paintings. In recent years, Morgan has been doing nude self-portraits with key elements cropped out, and she's gained a lot of critical success with the formula. For these new paintings, she added a man, who's also been cropped. Morgan, who lived in Denver, recently moved to New York to attend graduate school. In the center space is an imaginative show, COLIN LIVINGSTON: Palettes, Patterns, Logos and Slogans, in which potential collectors are invited to select from a menu of -- you guessed it -- palettes, patterns, logos and slogans that Livingston will then use to create paintings on order. The show includes sample combinations by Livingston himself. The results have a pop-art flair, but the deadpan slogans and his innovative process add a neo-dada angle. In the back is JEFF STRAHL: Vallari, which lends + the atmosphere of a biker bar. Through October 7 at + Gallery, 2350 Lawrence, 303-296-0927. Reviewed September 21.

Selected Prints From ULAE. After being closed for the better part of a year, Robin Rule has finally reopened her gallery. For the grand opening, she's presenting Selected Prints From Universal Limited Art Editions, which showcases works from the famous printmaker. ULAE was established in the 1950s when Larry Rivers and Frank O'Hara contracted to make a collaborative piece; since then, it has worked with many of the most important artists of our time. Founded on Long Island by Tatyana Grosman, a self-taught printer, ULAE is now world-renowned, with the Museum of Modern Art acquiring a piece from each edition. In 1969, Bill Goldston joined ULAE; he took over as director and master printer in 1982, after Grosman's death. Goldston has come to Denver to oversee the installation of this show, which includes work by Lee Bontecou, Chuck Close, Carroll Dunham, Robert Motherwell, Elizabeth Murray, Barnett Newman, James Rosenquist and others from the same lofty league. With all the out-of-towners coming to take in the new Hamilton Building, Rule obviously wanted to fill her space with blue-chip work by artists that everybody knows. Through October 21 at Rule Gallery, 227 Broadway, 303-777-9473.

Treasures Revealed. The often-overlooked Emmanuel Gallery is hosting an important show called Treasures Revealed: The Art of Hungary, 1890-1955, which examines the rise of modernism in that country. Hungarian artists became part of the European avant-garde with the founding of a group called "The Eight" in 1909. These artists and others produced work in a variety of styles, including fauvism, expressionism and cubism. The exhibit showcases creations by some of Hungary's most significant artists, such as Dezs? Czigány, Károly Kernstok, Ödön Márffy and Bertalan Pór. There are over sixty paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and pieces of furniture on display. The exhibit was curated by Shanna Shelby and is accompanied by a catalogue written by Steven Mansbach. The objects on display have been culled from the collections of Jill Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown of Denver and Nancy Brinker of Washington, D.C. A reception will be held on Saturday, October 21, from 1 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, October 22, the gallery will honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian uprising. Through November 2 at Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus, 303-556-8337.

WAVES ON THE TURQUOISE LAKE et al. An important and unusual exhibit, WAVES ON THE TURQUOISE LAKE provides a rare glimpse into contemporary Tibetan art. The show, put together by CU Art Museum director Lisa Tamiris Becker and by the Mechak Center's Victoria Scoggin, is not limited to artists working in Tibet, but instead includes Tibetan artists living around the world. Clearly, ancient Tibetan art is still relevant to contemporary art, and many of the pieces in the show refer back to scrolls and other religious paintings. It's not only a clash of old and new, but also a situation where East meets West head-on. Among the artists included are Gonkar Gyatso, Shelka Sodhon, Jhamsang, and Migmar Wangdu. On Saturday, September 30, there will be a symposium from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a reception afterward. Also on view at the museum is VESTIGE/VESTIGIO, a three-artist group show highlighting video, installation and new media. The artists included, all of whom are Latin American, are Laura Anderson Barbata, Oscar Muñoz and Betsabeé Romero. Through October 20 at the CU Art Museum in the Sibell-Wolle Fine Arts Building, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-8300.

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