Now Showing

Al Wynne. As many know, the Black Forest home and studio shared for more than sixty years by the late Al Wynne and his widow, Lou Wynne, was utterly destroyed by fire this summer. The conflagration took some 400 works by Al in the form of watercolors and drawings, constituting nearly three-quarters of his output, as well as nearly all of Lou's work as a ceramics artist. Luckily, Al's Denver gallery, Z Art Department, had a number of paintings kept safe from harm's way. It is a selection of these surviving works that makes up Al Wynne, a beautiful if somber tribute to one of the state's greatest abstract artists. There are a handful of his classic abstract-expressionist pieces, along with a group of his hard edged abstractions featuring concentric ovals and straight lines. There are even a couple of sculptures. All the paintings, regardless of style, reveal Al's skill as a colorist, as well as his debt to calligraphy, a serious interest for him and, for much of his life, one of his professions. Though there are only fifteen works included, it's enough material to span his career, and thus to convey his greatness. Through November 2 at Z Art Department, 1136 Speer Boulevard, 303-298-8432, zartdepartment@yahoo.com. Reviewed October 17.

Bruce Price. A selection of wispy works on paper make up the intriguing Bruce Price: Works on Paper: 2007-2012 at the Denver Art Museum. The show, in the drawing gallery on level three of the Hamilton building, was part of last summer's Spun, the multi-departmental extravaganza celebrating actual or metaphorical textiles. Price was a protégé of Clark Richert's at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, and his early work was something of a critique and a continuation of his teacher's approach. But over the years, Price has stretched this Richert connection almost — but not quite — to the breaking point. As part of his process, Price, best known as a painter, knocks off works on paper by the dozens; it's in these pieces that he works out his ideas. Though early on Price painted hard-edged patterns, in recent years he's discovered ready-made ones in the form of swatches of gingham and plaid. This use of cloth links his work to the theme of Spun, as does the fact that the Price drawings are displayed unframed, their surfaces warped so that they ripple like textiles. Though November 3 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed May 16.

Cross Pollinate et al. In the front set of spaces at Walker Fine Art, the paintings of Chloe Hedden have been paired with sculptures by Vanessa Clark for the duet Cross Pollinate. The show's title seems appropriate for Hedden's paintings of blown-up flowers, which have been rendered in a hyperrealist style and in toned-up colors. It's not as appropriate, though, for Clark's abstract, mixed-material sculptures, in which the artist joins different kinds of stone to make simple forms. As she always does, gallery director Bobbi Walker has supplemented the main attraction with a trio of small solos in the back spaces. First are the staggeringly accomplished composite wax drawings by Robin Cole Smith, which depict natural objects such as twigs and a bird's nest. On the adjacent wall are five small post-minimal paintings by Udo Noger that juxtapose white with white. Finally is a selection of Bonny Lhotka's digital images that look like old still-life paintings. This is because of the antique quality of the photos' subjects — a tea set, for example — but also because of the surfaces, which look scratchy but are in fact smooth. Through November 2 at Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, #A, 303-355-8955, walkerfinart.com.

Haze Diedrich and Lewis McInnis. In what is set to be the last show in Space's current location (with the gallery's striking new building, at Fourth and Santa Fe, to be unveiled around the first of the year), director Michael Burnett has mounted a pair of solos under the umbrella title of Structural Leanings. The artists whose work makes up the exhibit — Haze Diedrich and Lewis McInnis — are two of the state's most interesting abstractionists. Both build their compositions out of smaller shapes — non-repeating organic ones for Diedrich, and good old rectangles for McInnis. Burnett has split the gallery space down the middle, giving Diedrich the north half, McInnis the south. Though each is represented by his respective style, both are also doing something new. For Diedrich, it's taking nature and breaking it up into small clusters of elements that convey a mood rather than a particular scene. For McInnis, the dense yet regulated structures of his earlier geometric patterns have been opened up and, in some cases, dispensed with completely, replaced by big color fields that collide with one another. Through November 30 at Space Gallery, 765 Santa Fe Drive, 720-904-1088, spacegallery.org.

 
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