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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, which pairs 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,

Still in Context. One of several recent shows meant to honor the opening of the Clyfford Still Museum, Still in Context brings together a variety of abstract artists with tenuous connections to the abstract-expressionist king. Referencing the history of American abstraction, there are works by Still contemporaries Helen Frankenthaler, David Hare and Grace Hartigan, all of whom came of age over half a century ago. Then there is a pair of mini-solos dedicated to two of Still's former students, Sam Scott and Ed Kerns. Despite this firsthand association, both Scott and Kerns do work that is distinct from that of their shared mentor. Denver's Jeremy Hillhouse, who died in 2009, is also featured in the show, represented by his signature abstracted landscapes and some pure abstractions. Hillhouse's relationship to Still is more nebulous than that of the other artists. Upstairs, Rick Dula's hyperrealist watercolors of the construction of the CSM are on display. Taken together, though the connections are loose, everything winds up being a visual feast anyway. Through April 7 at William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360,

What Is Modern? Department of Architecture, Design and Graphics curator Darrin Alfred has put together this large show dedicated to furniture and decor from the early nineteenth to the early 21st century. Alfred has included groundbreaking tables, storage units, lighting and — no surprise here, considering Alfred's specialty — graphics. Laudably, Alfred takes a chronological look at how technological advancements informed the development of modernism, starting with a bentwood chair from 1808 by Samuel Gragg. Its overall form is very sleek, with a gracefully curving back, but the details are very different, being almost precious, like the little hooves that mark the termination of the legs. One of the newest pieces in the show is "Roadrunner," a chair from 2006 by Colorado's own David Larabee and Dexter Thornton working together as DoubleButter. Made of a cheap synthetic, the chair is nonetheless elegant. In between the two chairs, Alfred has installed a wide assortment of classics from the annals of modernism. Through November 30 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, Reviewed December 23.

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