Radar: Selections From the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan

Two of the country's foremost collectors reveal a world of contemporary wonders at the DAM.

It could be argued that what Murakami is to Japan, conceptual artist Zhang Huan is to China, and RADARincludes three of his pieces: "1/2," a photo of the artist covered in calligraphy and wearing the ribs of an animal; "Pilgrimage," depicting a performance in New York where the nude artist is lying on a block of ice on a traditional Chinese daybed; and "To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain," in which nudes lying face-down on top on one another are stacked to the height of one meter.

Beyond the two galleries housing Japanese and Chinese art is a set of galleries dedicated to American art, which is the largest part of the Logan collection -- and of RADAR. George Condo's take on Picasso, "Multi Figure Composition," looks great hanging next to the pop-art version of the Old Master painting "Field Guides," by Fred Tomaselli, in which a figure of a farm worker tilling the soil is surrounded by a spiral of butterflies, all of it done in collage using found printed images.

As with the Asian art, the Logans certainly had the money and vision to pick up major pieces by big British stars. And none of them in RADARare more compelling than the three Damien Hirst works that survey the three periods of his meteoric career. I've never understood the appeal of his taxidermy, and "Philip (The Twelve Disciples)," a skinned animal head in a liquid preservative, does nothing to enlighten me. Lots more appealing is "Do you know what I like about you?" one of his color-field paintings adorned with preserved butterflies, and "Amylamine," a pattern painting using the dot shape of pills.

Sculptures by Thomas Schütte, with Michael Majerus's "Gewinn" behind.
Sculptures by Thomas Schütte, with Michael Majerus's "Gewinn" behind.

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Through July 15, Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000.

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Around the corner is a sensational Matthew Ritchie, "Parents and Children," that includes a painted floor element in the form of a zigzagging platform, with large painted forms done directly on the museum's walls. In overall appearance, "Parents and Children" looks completely abstract, but like everything else in RADAR,it also has representational elements.

The Logans also collected German art enthusiastically, and a large part of RADAR is dedicated to these works. In one of the largest spaces within the Anschutz is another exhibition high point: the relationship of the two monumental metal sculptures from the "Grosse Geister" series by Thomas Schütte and the fifteen-panel painting "Gewinn," by Michael Majerus, that they sit in front of. The Schüttes look like abstractions based on the Michelin Man, and in a similar vein, the Majerus is covered with images of cutesy cartoon characters. Both artists make a case for how indebted to American art trends some German art is.

There's no way for me to point out all the interesting things in RADAR because the show is so vast. In fact, I recommend seeing it a few times and picking up the well-done catalogue, which features essays on each artist written by Gwen Chanzit, the other curator in the DAM's Modern and Contemporary department.

I have to confess that on my first time through RADAR, I felt the Logans' choices were terminally trendy. By my fourth time through, however, I had changed my mind. Instead, I feel that they are visionaries who have put together a panoramic view of the artistic times in which we live.

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