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Capsule reviews of current exhibits

Emilio Lobato, David Mazza and Dale Chisman. The main attraction at Havu is Emilio Lobato: De Veras, featuring an eye-dazzling display of paintings that rely on the horizontal line for their visual interest. Lobato's distinguished career dates back several decades; some of the amazing attributes associated with him are his fine technical skills, his boundless creativity and his staggeringly dedicated work ethic, which results in a mind-dizzying number of artworks. For this show alone, he did nearly fifty new pieces! Sprinkled throughout the main floor are sculptures that make up David Mazza: New Works. Mazza has made a name for himself with zigzagging spires of metal, sometimes painted with automotive lacquers, at other times finished so that the natural characteristics of the material show through. Upstairs on the mezzanine at Havu is Dale Chisman 1943-2008, which looks at the artist's works on paper. These incredible monotypes and mixed-media works were commissioned by gallery owner Bill Havu between 1987 and 1997. Through April 11 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com. Reviewed February 5.

Fifty Years of Colorado Art. Ever since the turn of the twentieth century, there's been increasing interest in our state's art history. Several galleries and independent art dealers have served this need, and now there's one more: Z Art Department, which was just opened by Randy Roberts. The gallery is located between two operations owned by Roberts, Zeitgeist and Z Modern, which focus on vintage design and new design, respectively. Z Art Department will specialize in regional art from the 1930s to the 1980s, with the first show called Fifty Years of Colorado Art: 1937-1987. Roberts has gathered up a marvelous selection; the oldest is a painting of a cottage in the woods by John Edward Thompson, Colorado's first modernist. There are a number of works by Denver's own Edward Marecak, as well as Herbert Bayer from Aspen. Also represented in this inaugural show are painters Charles Bunnell, Mina Conant and Mark Travis, and sculptor Edgar Britton. Through April 30 at Z Art Department, 1136 North Speer Boulevard, 303-298-8432, zartdepartment@yahoo.com.

New & Noteworthy. Alice Zrebiec, textile curator at the Denver Art Museum, has put together a show in the Ponti Building's Neusteter Gallery that's anchored by a recent acquisition, an early-nineteenth-century album quilt — the Hopkins Family quilt — which is surrounded by nine others from the same era. The Hopkins quilt has a white field, and a red grid that divides the surface into individual frames in which different motifs, including flowers, musical instruments and a sailing ship, among other everyday things about the family, are presented. The other quilts include a bridal quilt, an autograph quilt, and even one inspired by Old Glory. Through December 31 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-913-0096, www.denverartmuseum.org.

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The Psychedelic Experience. The AIGA graphics curator, Darrin Alfred, has only been on the job at the Denver Art Museum for a year, and already he's the author of a major blockbuster, The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters From the San Francisco Bay Area. Alfred selected around 300 posters from a gift of more than 800 relevant pieces from Boulder collector David Tippett. A connoisseur, Tippett sought examples that were in the finest condition available and those that were artist-signed. Alfred uses the show to feature the principal artists involved in the movement, and exhibits the work of each in separate sections. This was a smart move, since it conveys the idea that a range of sensibilities, including art nouveau, surrealism and pop art, among other sources, came together to form the psychedelic poster style. Specialists in the field have identified a big five, but Alfred doesn't agree, so there are seven stars (one of which is a team) in this exhibit: Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley & Stanley Mouse, Bonnie MacLean, Victor Moscoso, David Singer and Wes Wilson. Through July 19 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000. www.denverartmuseum.org.

Rex Ray. The Promenade Space at MCA Denver is both a passageway and an exhibition hall. Given its limited size and unconventional plan, it's been used exclusively for single installations. The latest example is an untitled mural by San Francisco artist Rex Ray, who used to live in Colorado. Ray has a national reputation based not just on his fine art, but as a designer of everything from books to coffee mugs. Ray created the mural specifically for this show and specially designed the fabulous wallpaper that surrounds it. The mural is signature Ray, with shapes that rise from the base in the manner of a still-life or landscape. They were made from cut-outs of painted papers laid against a stunning red ground, and were inspired by organic forms, or at least abstractions of them, as seen in mid-century modern design. The wallpaper has a spare, all-over pattern on a white ground, complementing the mural without competing with it. Through January 31 at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, 303-298-7554, www.mcadenver.org.

 
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