Just to the right is a large monitor on which Johnson's "Ruminando" appears, though it was originally conceived as a projection. In this two-channel piece, Johnson, who is an associate professor of art at Colorado College, wanders the streets of Venice, where he once lived. In a split screen, he records sidelong glances, and not direct views of his travels. Johnson is one of the state's most significant conceptual artists, and his work has been shown at the MCA before.

Finally, there are McKenzie's representational paintings of broken windows at the old Gates factory on South Broadway. The paintings aren't quite photorealist, but they are very realistic. And by focusing on the windows alone, McKenzie, of Boulder, comes up with images that at first appear to be abstract pattern paintings.

"Monument Valley, man waving," by Edie Winograde, archival pigment print.
"Monument Valley, man waving," by Edie Winograde, archival pigment print.

Many of the artists who submitted for Continental Drift have complained to me that the selection process was brutal — and it was — so they haven't gone to see the show. But I really don't think that that was the intention of the curators. Rather, I think that both of them, being new to the area and early in their careers, had no idea about the consternation they were causing in the community. Not that they needed to come up with a big survey; they just needed to exercise a little more finesse in communicating their aims. To be fair, despite this aspect of the show, it's worth a look, because whatever mistakes Abrams and Proctor made, they took their jobs seriously and should be lauded for that.

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