The theme of energy segues neatly into the last of the shows I'm going to mention, Objectophilia, at Capsule, which is split between a space just beyond the Lebrija car sculpture and the ground floor of a nearby high-rise. The show, which takes up the topics of stored energy or energy that's already been expended, was curated by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, who was drafted into it after the local art community pointed out to the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs how local artists had been marginalized in the Biennial. Though both The Nature of Things and Energy Effects feature works by Colorado artists, they are distinctly in the minority in both shows. Objectophilia is different, because it's dominated by artists from around here. And the show proves the point that first-rate stuff is easy to find in Denver and its surroundings.

The strongest part of the show is in the building across from the MCA, not because the works therein are any finer than those a block away, but because Murphy was able to take charge of this smaller space in a way she wasn't able to in the high-rise.

There are a number of well-established talents here, including Bill Amundson, Phil Bender, Tim Flynn, Mark Friday, Rian Kerrane, Jerry Kunkel, Terry Maker, Jimmy Sellars, Jerry Simpson, Jeff Wenzel and David Zimmer. But there are also many unknowns, including a few surprises. Jimmy Descant's rocket-ship construction falls into this category, as do Scott Lary's suspension pieces made from old plastic dishes. Lary's sense for composition and his gifted touch with color mixing make these pendulums constructed from discarded plastic positively elegant.

A sculpture from "Between Life and Death," by Gonzalo Lebrija, mixed materials.
A sculpture from "Between Life and Death," by Gonzalo Lebrija, mixed materials.

Details

Through July 31, McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, no phone, www.biennialoftheamericas.org.Through July 25, Capsule, 1490 Delgany Street and 1900 16th Street, www.biennialoftheamericas.org.Through September 13, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, 303-298-7554, www.mcadenver.org.For a slide show of these exhibits, go to slideshow.westword.com.

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I can only touch on the tip of the iceberg of this gigantic two-part presentation, but it's as important to see as the other two shows.

I'd like to close with a suggestion of what could have helped the Biennial to succeed to a greater extent than it has. It shouldn't have been called the Biennial of the Americas, because that cuts off the rest of the world. Let's say that instead it had been dubbed the Denver Biennial: Old World/New World. Then, all of a sudden, the event could have incorporated the Henry Moore show at the Denver Botanic Gardens and the King Tut show at the Denver Art Museum. Moore and Tut are the big blockbusters this summer, not anything associated with the Biennial.

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