Joan Moment and Monroe Hodder. Though Joan Moment has spent the past four decades in California, she began her art career right here in Colorado in the late '60s when she was a graduate student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. That makes it easy to associate her work with that of George Woodman, a highly influential teacher at the time, and with Clark Richert, a fellow student then. Like them, Moment is interested in doing programmatic work that relates to patterning, meaning her work is abstract but also has conceptual content. Moment's solo has been paired with Monroe Hodder's, another neo-modernist, but where the former uses circles as her principal aesthetic device, the latter uses stripes. The two different bodies of work come together brilliantly. Hodder lives in Colorado, but she also has a studio in London. In addition to the Moment and Hodder shows, the gallery is presenting offerings by Carrie Lederer, a postmodern painter, and Jeff Aeling, a neo-traditionalist who lives in Missouri but paints Colorado's celebrity landscape. Through February 19 at William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com. Reviewed January 13.
Marc Brandenburg. The latest German artist to be introduced to local audiences by Denver Art Museum director Christoph Heinrich is Marc Brandenburg, a Berlin native. The artist is the subject of a handsome solo, Marc Brandenburg: Deutch-Amerikanishe Freundschaft, installed on level three of the Hamilton Building. Brandenburg came up with the German punk scene of the '80s, and the show's title, which means "German-American Friendship," is also the name of a rock band. His style is hyper-realist with a twist: Working in graphite on paper and using photos as studies, Brandenburg reverses the blacks and whites. Among the range of subjects are people out and about, on the streets or in parks. Technically, Brandenburg is as good as it gets; his drawings are breathtakingly precise. His punk heritage is hardly on view, but his continuing interest in being outrageous is well demonstrated by the floor drawing "Vomit," in which the artist has photographed vomit on the sidewalk and then done copies in graphite. Through February 20 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed December 16.
Moore in the Gardens. Henry Moore, who died in 1986, was Great Britain's most important modern sculptor. Born in 1898, he began to create artwork shortly after World War I, becoming internationally famous by the 1930s. Moore was one of a legion of important artists who responded to Picasso's surrealism, but he made the style his own. This traveling exhibit, sponsored by the Henry Moore Foundation, has been installed on the grounds of the Denver Botanic Gardens, with two pieces at the DBG annex at Chatfield (8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton). The main part of the exhibit begins in the Boettcher Memorial Center, where a collection of the artist's tools and maquettes are crowded into showcases, and where a single work has been installed in a fountain. Most of the other pieces have been displayed around the gardens. The monumental works, typically in bronze, look absolutely perfect in the landscaped settings. Through January 31 at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, www.botanicgardens.org. Reviewed June 17.
What Is Modern? Department of Architecture, Design and Graphics curator Darrin Alfred has put together this large show dedicated to furniture and décor from the early nineteenth to the early 21st century. Alfred has included groundbreaking tables, storage units, lighting and — no surprise here, considering Alfred's specialty — graphics. Laudably, Alfred takes a chronological look at how technological advancements informed the development of modernism, starting with a bentwood chair from 1808 by Samuel Gragg. Its overall form is very sleek, with a gracefully curving back, but the details are very different, being almost precious, like the little hooves that mark the termination of the legs. One of the newest pieces in the show is "Roadrunner," a chair from 2006 by Colorado's own David Larabee and Dexter Thornton working together as DoubleButter. Made of a cheap synthetic, the chair is nonetheless elegant. In between the two chairs, Alfred has installed a wide assortment of classics from the annals of modernism. Through November 30 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org. Reviewed December 23.
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