The Eternal Gift. The Taylor Museum in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is showing off some of its treasure in The Eternal Gift: Selections From the Fine Arts Center's Permanent Collection. The Taylor's inventory has many strengths, including modern art from the early to mid-twentieth century, which is what's on display in this show. Michael De Marshe, the center's president, made the choices; after sampling the Taylor's marvelous American scene paintings collection, he decided to include spectacular period pieces by Walt Kuhn, John Sloan and Isabel Bishop, along with that signature Georgia O'Keeffe flower painting. There's some early vanguard stuff -- notably, Arthur Dove's "Fog Horns" and Chagall's "Inspiration" -- as well as great things by Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery and John Marin. The next generation is also on hand, with the Taylor's famous Diebenkorn taking center stage; the Motherwells are pretty neat, too. Regular visitors will be familiar with many of these pieces from past shows at the center, but the thing about masterpieces is that they never get old. Through February at the Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 1-719-634-5583.
Leaving Aztln. The Center for Visual Art in LoDo is presenting the provocative show Leaving Aztlán: Rethinking Contemporary Latino and Chicano Art. Kaytie Johnson, from the Peeler Art Center at DePauw University, put it together with input from CVA director Kathy Andrews, among others. The show examines new trends being embraced by Latino and Chicano artists -- and by Latinas and Chicanas -- and in the process explores the convoluted relationships between art and ethnicity. Ten years ago this would have been an overtly political show, but now, although politics are still in the mix, there are also many pieces that express cutting-edge aesthetic theories. Artists from across the country -- including Jesse Amado, Connie Arismendi, Javier Carmona, Alex Donis, Diana Guerrero-Mácia, John Hernandez, Benito Huerta, Chuck Ramirez, Juan Ramos and Rubén Ortiz Torres -- were selected, but Johnson also chose two local talents, Carlos Frésquez and Maria Michelle Gonzalez. A reception for the artists, curator Johnson and collector Cheech Marin is scheduled for February 24 from 6 to 9 pm. Through April 23 at the Center for Visual Art, 1734 Wazee Street, 303-294-5207.
IN LIMBO. Internationally known contemporary-art collectors Vicki and Kent Logan maintain a residence in Vail and, lucky for us, have become involved in the cultural life of Colorado. In addition to providing a raft of works partially promised to the Denver Art Museum, the collecting couple has facilitated a relationship between the museum and the University of Denver. IN LIMBO is the second Logan-connected show at DU, but the first in which students -- under the direction of curator and professor Gwen Chanzit -- have been allowed to use the DAM's Logan Collection as well the couple's private stash to come up with it. More often than not, too many cooks spoil the broth, but not in this case. The show is first-rate but surprisingly conservative, considering the tender ages of the organizers. The students chose mostly representational paintings and photographs, and there are only two sculptures. Among the artists included are Bo Bartlett, Jack Pierson, Ron Mueck, Cindy Sherman, Su-En Wong, and almost a dozen others. Through March 11 at the Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, 2121 East Asbury Avenue, 303-871-2846. Reviewed January 20.
James Westwater. The current solo in the main space at the Rule Gallery is James Westwater; 10 Years, Geometric Narcissism, 1995-2005. This is not the first time Westwater has had his work exhibited in Denver, but this is the first major offering. The Rule show is a brief survey of the conceptual artist's work done during the time he's lived in Santa Fe, where he moved in 1994. For Westwater, who exhibits his pieces nationally, "geometric narcissism" explains what he's doing, specifically using simple shapes, most often ovals, Westwater marks the surface of his pieces as if he were putting a personal stamp on them. In the late'90s, Westwater put the shapes within neo-minimalist formats -- and they look a lot like Ellsworth Kelly's compositions -- but in the later pieces, he puts the shapes on top of appropriated images and found objects, including a reproduction of a seascape, a sheet of faux bois laminate and a suitcase. Through March 5 at the Rule Gallery, 111 Broadway, 303-777-9473. Reviewed February 3.
Lines of Position and Rudiments. Technically speaking, Lines of Position and Rudiments, at Sandy Carson Gallery, are separate solos, but they've been outlandishly installed together as a duet. Lines of Position features wall-hung sculptures by Jeremy Jernegan, while Rudiments comprises recent abstract paintings by Floyd Tunson. Jernegan's work is precise and intimate, Tunson's expressive and bold. Their pieces shouldn't work well together, but for some reason they do. The whole thing looks stunning, even if viewers are constantly forced to shift their attention from one to the other. Jernegan teaches ceramics at Louisiana's Tulane University, but these recent pieces are something else, because they don't look like ceramics; they look like photos. Jernegan uses a photo silkscreen, pushing fine slip through the screen instead of ink and using a clay slab instead of paper. Manitou Springs-based Tunson has been a mainstay of Colorado's contemporary scene since the '70s. A neo-pop artist, he swings back and forth between representational and -- as in these pieces --abstraction. Through February 26 at Sandy Carson Gallery, 760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-8585
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