Ansel Adams Edwin Land and The Persistence of Myth and Tragedy. At the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, two legendary figures from the history of photography have been brought together in Ansel Adams Edwin Land: Art, Science, and Invention: Photographs From the Polaroid Collection. In the '60s, Adams was invited by Land, the inventor of instant-film cameras -- the Polaroid -- to try out the company's ever-changing technologies. This show highlights those pieces. Also now at the center is The Persistence of Myth and Tragedy in Twentieth Century Mexican Art, featuring pieces from the collection of Robert B. Ekelund Jr. The exhibit, done in collaboration with the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University, includes all the big names, such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and over a dozen more. In addition, Pre-Columbian art and Mexican folk art are used to complement this modernist collection. Art, Science, and Invention is open through October 24, and Myth and Tragedy stays up through November 21, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 1-719-634-5581.
Far Afield, et al. The Robischon Gallery is one of many area venues participating in the so-called Month of Photography, which is being held in conjunction with the Southwestern Regional Conference of the Society for Photographic Education, in town October 15 through 17. For its part of the festivities, Robischon is hosting a trio of intriguing exhibits -- FAR AFIELD, AWAY OUT OVER EVERYTHING and CONFIGURATION. The interrelated shows all concern the idea of place. FAR AFIELD is a large group effort and features the work of Edward Burtynsky, Guido Guidi, Ray Metzker, Richard Pare, Laura McPhee, Virginia Beahan, Kahn & Selesnick, Gary Emrich, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen and George Woodman. Thorne-Thomsen and Woodman are both former Colorado art professors who were a great influence on their students. AWAY OUT OVER EVERYTHING is a solo dedicated to photos of the Northwest by Mary Peck, while CONFIGURATION includes additional pieces by Woodman and others by Eric Schwartz, Owen O'Meara and Janieta Eyre. All through October 30 at the Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788. Reviewed October 14.
Filters of the Twentieth Century. Over the last couple of decades, there's increasingly been a problem with making neat and tidy distinctions between photojournalism and fine-art photography. Art is exactly what's in store for viewers of Filters of the Twentieth Century: Margaret Bourke-White, Carl Mydans on display at Cherry Creek's Gallery M. True, Bourke-White and Mydans were photojournalists, but their works are examples of fine-art photography anyway. Bourke-White did Life magazine's first cover, "Fort Peck Dam," in 1936; an estate print of it is included at Gallery M. The exhibit also has photos Bourke-White took for Erskine Caldwell's 1939 book, You Have Seen Their Faces, which was her personal response to photos of the rural poor taken for the Farm Service Administration. Like Bourke-White, Mydans was one of the first generation of Life photographers, and before that he worked for the FSA. The show could be criticized for being way too crowded, but considering what it's crowded with -- stunning images by Bourke-White and Mydans -- who cares? Through January 31 at Gallery M, 2830 East Third Avenue, 303-331-8400. Reviewed October 14.
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Mes Petits Amis. As part of Denver's "Month of Photography," Capsule at Pod is presenting Mes Petits Amis (My Little Friends), a solo featuring experimental images by emerging artist Katie Taft. Though she's only been exhibiting in the area for the last year or so, she's really gotten around. Her work first gained a wide local audience when it was included in Repeat Offenders at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture. Taft was one of three youngsters -- the other two being painter Brandon Borchert and photographer Jason Patz -- who absolutely stole that show. The Taft photos at Capsule are closely related to those she showed at Mizel in that they depict imaginary animals, the sculptures of which Taft made herself. Despite the cartoon-ish character of the figures, the photos have a minimalist quality, with Taft creating graduated color fields as backgrounds. Taft's use of light and shadow and her unerring sense for composition are her greatest strengths. In addition to the photos, Taft has done T-shirts with the image of a double-headed bird on the front. Through November 6 at Capsule, 554 Santa Fe Drive, 303-623-3460. Reviewed October 14.
MUSCOVITES. Simon Zalkind, director of the Singer Gallery of the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, has a longstanding interest in photography and in Russia, which makes the fall opener, MUSCOVITES: Ilya Ilf and Mark Markov-Grinberg: Photographs 1930-1940, a natural for him. The exhibit pairs photos by Ilya Ilf, a Soviet journalist, with those by Mark Markov-Grinberg, a Soviet photojournalist. The notable artists worked during the Stalin era, when many Jews embraced communism. It was prescient, considering what was to happen. Both men, though part of the official press, felt the need to change their names so they would sound less Jewish. The exhibit juxtaposes everyday views of life by Ilf with Markov-Grinberg's shots, which record historic events of the time. The exhibit is a collaborative effort of the Mizel and the University of Denver's Center for Judaic Studies, with center director David Shneer having played a major role in facilitating the show. Noted collectors Paul and Teresa Harbaugh were also involved. Through November 4 at the Singer Gallery of the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, 350 South Dahlia Street, 303-316-6360. Reviewed October 14.
The Quest for Immortality. With the rise of archaeology in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, scientists began excavating Egyptian tombs and discovering a wide array of gorgeous artifacts. This tomb art is what makes the blockbuster currently on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science absolutely fabulous. A traveling exhibit about midway through its coast-to-coast tour, The Quest for Immortality was organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with Copenhagen's United Exhibits Group and Cairo's Supreme Council of Antiquities. An army of scientists, curators and scholars worked on it, headed up by Betsy M. Bryan, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The heart of the exhibit includes objects found in the tomb of Thutmose III, as well as an astounding digital re-creation of the tomb itself. The show is jammed with visitors, but don't let all the people -- or the steep ticket prices -- dissuade you: This is one show that you've really got to see to believe. Through January 23 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, 303-322-7009. Reviewed October 7.