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
Charles Bunnell. A pioneer abstractionist is the star of Charles Bunnell: Rocky Mountain Modern at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The show was curated by Blake Milteer, the CSFAC's museum director and curator of American art, who built it around the private collection of James and Virginia Moffett, who live in Kansas City. It was supplemented with pieces from the CSFAC's own hoard and from local private collections. Though the exhibit appears to include every dead end or cul-de-sac that Bunnell ever went down, it actually doesn't, since the artist was relentlessly experimental. The show also reveals those periods in which the experiments came together and he was able to create some very solid work. If you ignore the wrong turns he made, you can definitely see how each of his successful experiments led to the next. There are the expressionist landscapes from the 1920s, the cubo-regionalist scenes from the 1930s, and the geometric abstractions of the 1950s, which morphed into abstract expressionism in the 1960s. Through September 15 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 719-634-5583, csfineartscenter.org. Reviewed August 22.
Collin Parson. Collin Parson wears two hats in the local art world — three, if you count the fact that he's the son of prominent area sculptor Charles Parson. One is as the director of the visual-art program at the Arvada Center; the other is as an artist. Working with light as his chief medium, Parson is currently the subject of a good-looking solo at Z Art Department with the preposterous title ReWorked: the Collin Parson Experience. The show is something like a brief survey of Parson's work done over the past few years, with the oldest pieces dating back to 2008 and the newest ones done only in the past few months. Parson's work is in the form of lightboxes — that is, boxes that hang on the wall and have internal lighting. The earliest boxes are made of wood that's been painted black, with voids routed out that allow the light to come through. At first Parson used fluorescent lights, but as time has gone on, he's switched to LEDs, which allow the colors to change periodically. For the newer pieces, Parson switched to acrylic panels in a range of colors and with laser-cut voids. Through September 15 at Z Art Department, 1136 Speer Boulevard, 303-298-8432, firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviewed August 15.
Nick Cave. Though it's billed separately — and requires separate tickets — Nick Cave: Sojourn is the pièce de résistance of Spun, the over-the-top salute to textiles comprising a dozen shows at the Denver Art Museum. In the center of the entry space is a found baptismal font surmounted by a bower of steel rods accented with strings of beads and little ceramic birds. This is an exemplar of Cave's latest interest: elaborate, funky assemblages that lie somewhere between sculpture and installation. Though there's plenty of childlike wonder to behold in his work — crocheted doilies, bird figurines, sock monkeys — the pieces displayed in the steady progression of connected rooms create what Cave sees as a "sacred space." The show also includes a nice selection of Cave's remarkable Soundsuits, androgynous disguises sometimes used in performances that were originally protest pieces sparked by the Rodney King beating in the '90s. There is also a group of found-object assemblage sculptures, like the baptismal font, that represent a new direction for the artist. Through September 22 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed July 26.
Paul Ching-Bor + Sharon Feder. Goodwin Fine Art is presenting a duet, Urbanism: Paul Ching-Bor + Sharon Feder, comprising paintings of buildings. Paul Ching-Bor, who was born in Hong Kong and spent a good deal of his time in Sydney, is now based in New York. His paintings here depict scenes around the missing World Trade Center, including depictions of the twin light beams that were used as an ad hoc memorial for a time. Ching-Bor says that the attack on the WTC made him realize that he was a New Yorker, because the tragedy bound people in the city together. The paintings, on dark paper, are highly abstract and fairly minimal, but nonetheless convey the idea of the city at night. Colorado's Sharon Feder does something entirely different, even if she's also interested in buildings. Finding her subjects bathed in sunlight, Feder uses a bright palette. And whereas Ching-Bor takes in an expansive view, Feder zeroes in on details, cropping out the three-dimensional elements of the structures to focus on walls, which she renders as constructivist patterns of shapes. Through September 14 at Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street, 303-573-1255, goodwinfineart.com.
Regina Benson and Ray Tomasso. Ice Cube is currently hosting a pair of conceptually related solos that also look good together. Regina Benson: Future Ruins features the latest efforts of this well-known Colorado fiber artist. The new installation is experiential, with viewers encouraged to wander through its architectonic elements. The front space is filled with towers evocative of skyscrapers or columns, both freestanding and wall-mounted. The surfaces are used bedcovers with rust marks all over that have been cut to fit the armatures. In a small back gallery, Benson has displayed her tools — the metal items she used for the rust stains — like sculptures. The Benson show is paired with Ray Tomasso: Forgotten Latitudes. Tomasso is the dean of Colorado paper-making, and this latest show, featuring some of his most recent pieces, demonstrates why. He's covered the walls in the space to the southeast and the niche behind with a dazzling array of neo-abstract-expressionist three-dimensional wall panels, most of them monumental. Through September 14 at Ice Cube Gallery, 3320 Walnut Street, 303-292-1822, icecubegallery.com.