Reviewed: Ten Art Shows to Catch This Weekend

Mark Bradford's "Realness," mixed media on canvas.
Mark Bradford's "Realness," mixed media on canvas.
Denver Art Museum

This weekend is your last chance to catch the stunning Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford at both the Clyfford Still Museum and the Denver Art Museum. And there are some other monumental shows around town right now, including Calder Monumental at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Mi Tierra at the Denver Art Museum, and The Kids Were Alright, Ryan McGinley's show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Keep reading for capsule reviews of those exhibits, as well as more in the area, in the order that they're closing.

Clyfford Still's "PH-949 of 1951," "PH-929 of 1974" and "PH-1076 of 1953" at the Clyfford Still Museum.
Clyfford Still's "PH-949 of 1951," "PH-929 of 1974" and "PH-1076 of 1953" at the Clyfford Still Museum.
Justin Wambold

Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford. The spectacular Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford is being presented at both the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum. At the DAM, curator Rebecca Hart has arranged a body of Mark Bradford paintings that the artist created “in dialogue” with paintings by Clyfford Still. Hart hung the works of the two artists together — something that is rarely done because of restrictions on exhibiting most of Still’s paintings. The show begins with a bang: Bradford’s magisterial diptych “Realness,” which the museum recently acquired. Bradford produced the piece's scabrous surface by laying down sheets or bits of paper that were then torn into shreds. Over at the CSM, the Stills selected by Bradford seem all over the map pictorially, though most are dark in color. These dark colors invariably bring up the topic of race, even if they’ve been used non-objectively, as Still — and Bradford — used them. Through July 16 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org; and at the Clyfford Still Museum,1250 Bannock Street, 720-354-4880, clyffordstillmuseum.org. Read the review of Shade.

Adam Milner, “Weak Container,” ready-made and altered materials.
Adam Milner, “Weak Container,” ready-made and altered materials.
Wes Magyar

Adam Milner. At first blush, Adam Milner: Desirable Objects at David B. Smith has an elegant minimalism about it; it's a spare installation with lots of rectilinearity. But rather than being about formalism, it concerns Milner’s autobiography. It’s about his own body, as well as the body of his partner, Fred, and those of others. How Milner conveys this content is at times stomach-churning, even if the pieces themselves are not graphic. For instance, there’s “Weak Container,” an installation comprising two retail display fixtures, with a pink men’s suit on each. Perceptions of the piece change when we learn that the pink tint comes from the suits having been soaked in water tinged with the blood of Milner and Fred; the sweet if sophisticated gesture, conveying a relationship via two suits hanging together, becomes something else when blood is introduced. In addition to Desirable Objects, Milner has also curated Cabinet, a small show in the project room that apes an archive, right down to its limited hours and number of visitors allowed at one time. Extended through July 22 at David B. Smith Gallery, 1543 A Wazee Street, 303-893-4234, davidbsmithgallery.com. Read the review of Adam Milner: Desirable Objects.

Audacious includes Carroll Dunham's "Shootist."
Audacious includes Carroll Dunham's "Shootist."
Denver Art Museum

Audacious. Last summer, Rebecca Hart took the rudder of the Denver Art Museum’s Modern and Contemporary department, and Audacious: Contemporary Artists Speak Out, in the main galleries on the third level of the DAM’s Hamilton Building, is her debut effort. Although Audacious is meant to showcase objects from the DAM’s permanent collection, this particular assortment has been heavily salted with pieces from the private holdings of Kent and Vicki Logan. The largesse of other important donors is included, too, but to a lesser extent. Among the standouts are several works by American artists such as Philip Guston, Robert Colescott, David Hammons, Barbara Kruger, Brian Alfred and Ben Jackel. There’s also a big European presence, especially among the YBA (Young British Artists), who are now, alas, not so young. Chinese art likewise plays a large role in Audacious, and there are even some Colorado artists included, among them Tony Ortega, Jack Balas and Viviane Le Courtois. Extended through August 6 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org.

Stan Meyer, "Gesture" and "Sinuous."
Stan Meyer, "Gesture" and "Sinuous."
Wes Magyar

Stan Meyer. Despite Stan Meyer’s long career, which dates back to the 1970s, this solo, Stan Meyer: Poetic Presence, is not a retrospective. Rather, nearly every piece in the show was made in the past year or so — and that's downright amazing, given that they are mostly large works and there are a baker’s dozen of them. Meyer’s work is created out of roofing felt that he tints and paints, then cuts into strips, ultimately weaving the strips into monumental wall hangings with simple, symmetrical compositions that have totemic, heraldic or ceremonial character. Meyer himself points out that the inspiration for his pieces springs from Celtic art, the art of the Maori, and architectural screens and details. However, in addition to those primitive sources, the work may also be associated with the pattern movement of the ’60s through the ’80s, which was particularly vibrant around here. In fact, it could be argued that although his pieces are woven and not painted, they are part of that tradition. Meyer’s wotk is invariably magisterial, not just because of the iconic shapes he weaves, but also because of their iridescent glow. Though August 6 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org. Read the review of Stan Meyer: Poetic Presence .

Ray Tomasso, “Monsoon Warning,” cast paper and acrylic paint.
Ray Tomasso, “Monsoon Warning,” cast paper and acrylic paint.
Wes Magyar

Paper.Works. Collin Parson, curator and gallery director at the Arvada Center, took an expansive view of what constitutes art made from paper for the exhibit Paper.Works. This open-endedness could have prevented the exhibit from coming together, as nearly every drawing, print or photograph on earth would have qualified, but Parson apparently pulled himself back from that particular brink. Key to his garnering a sense of unity from such sprawling diversity was the decision to ask certain artists to create site-specific works. Among these are Lauri Lynnxe Murphy’s automatist works created by snails, Peter Yumi’s triptych of found imagery, and, of particular interest, the multi-panel bas-relief by the dean of paper artists in Colorado, Ray Tomasso. The Tomasso is a hybrid of an abstract sculpture and an abstract painting, and it’s a classic example of his signature approach. Other standouts among the paper pieces are those by Robert Brinker, Mike McClung, Jenene Nagy, Matthew Shlian, Sophia Dixon Dillo and Mike Neff. Though August 20 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898-7200, arvadacenter.org. Read the full review of Paper.Works.

Keep reading for five more shows to see.



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