Now Showing

Capsule reviews of current exhibits

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 Tippit. A connoisseur, Tippit 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. Reviewed May 21.

Rex Ray. The Promenade Space on the second floor of MCA Denver is both a passageway and an exhibition hall. Given its limited size and unconventional plan — the main wall runs diagonally to the windows opposite it — the Promenade has 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. The shapes have been made from cut-outs of painted papers that have been laid against a stunning blue 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.

Trine Bumiller and Reed Danziger. Nature-inspired abstracts make up both of these good-looking solos. Bumiller, a well-known Denver painter, is presenting works from her "Blue Hour" series, so named because they intend to convey twilight, which is neither light nor dark. She achieves this atmospheric quality using color only — notably, lots of luxurious blues. The shades are luminous, because Bumiller has laid them on in multiple thin coats of pigments and glazes. Danziger, who works in the Bay Area, has also done abstracts that conjure up references to the natural world, but unlike Bumiller's, they don't make literal references to the landscape. On the white ground of the papers, Danziger has scribbled in drawings with compositions that converge along horizontal axes. The results are delicate, a characteristic conveyed by the skeins of fine lines and further enhanced by the visible folds in the papers on which the drawings are done. Through June 13, Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, www.robischongallery.com. Reviewed June 4.

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