Reviewed: Shows at Michael Warren Closing, Eight More Exhibits to See Now

Sherry Wiggins, "Flower."
Sherry Wiggins, "Flower."
Photo by Luis Branco

Weathercasters may be calling for a partly cloudy weekend, but things are looking sunny at local galleries and museums, bright spots for art exhibits right now. Hurry to Michael Warren Contemporary to see works by Heidi Jung and Marietta Patricia Leis before their shows close this weekend; keep reading for capsule reviews of those, as well as eight more displays around town.

“Land Lines,” by Marietta Patricia Leis, graphite and acrylic on birch panels.
“Land Lines,” by Marietta Patricia Leis, graphite and acrylic on birch panels.
Michael Warren Contemporary

Sherry Wiggins and Marietta Patricia Leis. Michael Warren Contemporary is currently featuring two back-to-back solos, each showcasing work created during artist residencies. First up is Sherry Wiggins: Meeting Her Again, made up of staged photos done by the well-known Boulder conceptualist during two residencies in Portugal. The photographs are self-portraits once removed. Wiggins had photographers record her restaging performances done originally by Helena Almeida, a Portuguese conceptual artist. Almeida, who worked for a time in Paris, was interested in collapsing performance, drawing, painting and photography into singular works, a pursuit that connects her work to that of her more famous contemporary Yves Klein. Opposite the Wiggins pieces is the other solo, Marietta Patricia Leis: Lost and Found in Iceland, which comprises drawings done during a residency in — where else? — Iceland. All of the Leis drawings are coolly elegant (pardon the pun), but the most compelling are those done on curved birch panels, which she has thoroughly covered with silvery gray graphite, lending them a quiet metallic sheen. Through May 27 at Michael Warren Contemporary, 760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-635-6255, michaelwarrencontemporary.com. Read the reviews of both the Wiggins and Leis shows.

"Cadillac Ranch, Don Stinson.
"Cadillac Ranch, Don Stinson.
Wes Magyar

Don Stinson. The paintings in Don Stinson: What Lies Between highlight the Western landscape, but artist Stinson adds conceptual content to his otherwise inspiring natural vistas by incorporating intrusive commercial elements into them. These infelicitous elements include tumbledown buildings or rusting signs, and they change the pictures from straightforward depictions of nature to commentaries on our society’s economic foibles and follies at the expense of the natural environment. However, these incursions into the wilderness are themselves old and somewhat charming, rendered lovingly by Stinson. This tames their deleterious effects and actually makes even the ugliest of them seem sort of appealing. In addition to including what could be called eyesores in the midst of the picturesque scenery, Stinson has also incorporated outdoor artworks and dramatic architecture. The artist, who lives in Evergreen, is considered to be one of the most significant contemporary realists active today — not just in Colorado, but throughout the West. Through June 3 at David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 A Wazee Street, 303-893-4234, davidbsmithgallery.com. Read the review of Don Stinson: What Lies Between.

Lanny DeVuono's "Terraforming #1."
Lanny DeVuono's "Terraforming #1."
Courtesy the artist and Goodwin Fine Art.

Lanny DeVuono and Linda Connor. At first glance, the mixed-media drawings that comprise Lanny DeVuono/Terraforming look like depictions of our western landscape, but they're actually invented scenes from extraterrestrial planets in outer space. DeVuono's taking-off point is the idea of “terraforming,” which means to engineer changes to a planet to make it more earth-like so that humans can live on it. The term originated in science fiction but is now used in real science. For DeVuono, terraforming refers to hypothetical vistas on distant planets that she imagines would appear much like those on Earth, and many of these views recall the look of the deserts and mountains of the Southwest. The DeVuono show at Goodwin has been paired with a photo show, Linda Connor/Gravity. Not only are these works different, being mechanically made rather than hand done, but they also take a different approach to the landscape. There are photos of sacred sites around the world, images that depict a fossilized sea bed, and some taken of the night sky through a telescope. Through June 3 at Tina Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street, 303-573-1255, goodwinfineart.com. Read the DeVuono and Connor reviews.

Frank Sampson, “Clowns Looking for Mushrooms," acrylic on canvas.
Frank Sampson, “Clowns Looking for Mushrooms," acrylic on canvas.
Frank Sampson

Frank Sampson. Sandra Phillips Gallery has made a specialty of representing masters of the Colorado art scene, and surely none of the artists in her stable is as well entrenched in the state’s art history than Frank Sampson, the dean of contemporary magic realism and the subject of the gallery's current exhibit, Frank Sampson New Paintings. Though Sampson has been working for sixty years (he’s 89), all of the paintings in the Phillips show have been done just in the last year. For these works, Sampson sets a stage in the form of a landscape that he populates with figures and animals. The style he uses to render the people and wildlife recalls the charming pictures from old-fashioned storybooks. Sometimes there is a sense of whimsy to the paintings, but other times, despite his lyrical depictions, the paintings have a contemplative or existential mood. Probably the most interesting thing about this show at Phillips is the way it demonstrates how Sampson has followed his own counsel for decades, continuing to make his highly individual work regardless of the comings and goings of the fads and fancies of the art world. Through June 3 at Sandra Phillips Gallery, 47 West 11th Avenue, 300-931-2991, thesandraphillipsgallery.com. Read the review of Frank Sampson New Paintings.

Keep reading for five more reviews.



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