By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
Robert Mangold, et al. This sprawling exhibit begins on the grounds of the Arvada Center and continues through the half-dozen exhibition spaces on the lower level inside — and it has to be considered the most important exhibit of the season. Robert Mangold Retrospective: Works From 1955 to Present lays out the Denver artist's career in rough chronological order, though sometimes pieces of vastly different dates are shown together if they are from the same series. Mangold's concern is movement, either actual or conceptual references to it. The exhibit was put together by Collin Parson, who is rapidly distinguishing himself as one of the city's top curators, even if his official role at the center is as exhibition designer. Parson has also put together two other significant shows on the upper level. First is Homare Ikeda/Monroe Hodder
,pairing the organic abstractions by Ikeda with the post-minimal expressionist paintings by Hodder. In the Theater Gallery is Lost and Found: A North Sea Collaboration
,featuring sculptures by Carl Reed and Thomas Claesson. These shows are not to be missed. Through April 1 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898-7200, www.arvadacenter.org.
West of Center. Rambling over the three levels of MCA Denver, this exhibit is part of an informal national trend that aims to upwardly reappraise the place of the American West in the art world. The show, the full title of which is West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, was organized by director Adam Lerner and his wife and co-curator, Elissa Auther; they also co-edited a scholarly catalogue on the subject, the scope of which is far broader than that of this exhibit. The displays are not sequential, but rather a series of completely autonomous presentations, each devoted to a different part of the topic. The curators have cast a wide net, in the process deconstructing standard ideas about art in the West from that time, typically seen as being dominated by psychedelic posters — which aren't even included here. Instead they present the Cockettes drag-queen group, Black Panther broadsides and the utopian Ant Farm Collective. The show's crescendo centers on Colorado's own Drop City. Through February 19 at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, 303-298-7554, www.mcadenver.org. Reviewed December 22.