In addition to the stand-alone prints are the portfolios, which are fairly compelling, with a group of diverse artists working according to some theme. Lunning has hung the portfolios as single groupings, with each print framed individually. In "Figures," commissioned by Joshua Hassel, contemporary takes on the figure are carried out by Jill Hadley Hooper, Matt O'Neill, Stephen Batura, Jeff Starr and William Stockman; it's like a snapshot of the art scene in 1996.

In one case, Lunning put together a portfolio titled "Marks on Paper," in which all of the contributing artists have the first name of Mark! In addition to Lunning, other Marks in the group include the late Mark Travis, Mark Dickson, Mark Greg Esser, Mark Friday, Mark Villarreal and Mark Sink. Despite the absurd basis for the connection, the portfolio looks great as a unit.

As I was walking through the exhibit — made up of 125 pieces by 50 different artists — it occurred to me that not only is this presentation an accounting of Lunning's output as a printmaster over the past 25 years, but it also charts the development of contemporary art in greater Denver during the same time span. It's not encyclopedic, certainly, and there are artists from elsewhere, but especially in terms of contemporary painters in the area, it provides a roster that's essentially a who's-who of the scene.

“Slip (Yellow Crown),” by Dale Chisman, monotype with chine collé.
“Slip (Yellow Crown),” by Dale Chisman, monotype with chine collé.

Location Info

Map

McNichols Building

144 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80202

Category: Community Venues

Region: Downtown Denver

Details

Open Press
Through April 27 at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, 720-865-4303, artsandvenuesdenver.com.

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And that's what makes the catalogue, with a foreword by Mary Chandler, a must-have, since every print in the show is included; the slim volume thus serves as a valuable historic document about Denver art.

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