Blink! A young curatorial assistant at the Denver Art Museum, Jill Desmond, has stepped up to the big time by putting together an over-the-top exhibit of electronic and mechanical art titled Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image. Beginning on the first level of the Hamilton and taking over the Martin and McCormick Gallery on level two, it brings together an assortment of videos, art films and videos, light sculptures, installations, and projections, audio works, digital creations and other things. There are a few classics by deceased pioneers in the field, such as Nam June Paik and Dan Flavin, but most of the participants are active right now. Among the standouts is "Chamber," by Charles Sandison. Laudably, Desmond included local artists such as Donald Fodness and Gary Emrich, as well. The overall experience of the show is almost like a carnival, with flashing lights and discordant sounds, which is why it works. By assembling a bunch of related pieces, Desmond is able to come up with a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Through May 1 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org.
Her Gaze/Su Mirada. Curated by Museo de las Américas director Maruca Salazar, this show brings together five Latina photographers. The idea implicit in the title is that women have a different perspective on photography than men do, but the exhibit itself doesn ft really bear that out. The work includes photo enlargements of skin and wood grains by Yesika Felix; traditional black-and-whites of village life by Graciela Iturbide that focus on women and on transsexuals; retro, 1930s black-and-white nudes by Flor Garduño; and Kathy Vargas's altered overlapping images with touches of color and an altar-like installation about her mother. But the star of the show is Delilah Montoya, who does scenic shots in color of the trails made by Mexican migrants coming to the U.S. as well as a group of unforgettable portraits of Chicana boxers done in crisp black and white. One shortcoming is the design of the exhibit, which doesn ft make sense, because the artists are all mixed up instead of each having been given her own space. Through May 27 at the Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive, 303-571-4401, www.museo.org.
Homare Ikeda, Michael Clapper, Amy Metier. A key figure in the contemporary scene in Denver for the past several decades is the subject of a large and impressive solo, Homare Ikeda: Time Is Floating, which covers the walls of the main floor at William Havu Gallery. Ikeda, who was born in Japan, is known for his distinctive abstract paintings and works on paper, which have an awkwardly balanced and idiosyncratic approach to forms and compositions. The Ikedas are supplemented here by a handful of sculptures from noted Colorado sculptor Michael Clapper. Upstairs is a group of recent abstract paintings by another important local artist, Amy Metier, who lives in Boulder. At first glance, Metier's lyrical paintings apparently refer to abstract expressionism, but there are other stylistic references, too. Since the beginning of this year, Havu has been mining the state's abstract scene to great effect. Through June 4 at the William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com.
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Mi Linda Soledad. This large exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center zeroes in on the career of one of Colorado's most important abstract painters, Emilio Lobato. The show's title, which means "My Beautiful Solitude," refers both to Lobato's life growing up in the San Luis Valley and to the often somber pictures he creates. The show begins with a handful of pieces from the 1980s, but really hits its stride with the pieces done in the '90s and later. Many of the paintings reflect Lobato's interest in straight lines and systematically organized forms, which he reconciles with his Hispanic-culture-based interest in rich color. The show reveals that Lobato has followed different paths over the years, but they've all led in the same direction. The CSFAC is a fitting venue for this show because of Lobato's attachment to it, forged during his years at nearby Colorado College, where he studied, as Dale Chisman did, with Mary Chenoweth. Through May 15 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 1-719-634-5581, www.csfineartscenter.org. Reviewed March 24.
What Is Modern? Department of Architecture, Design and Graphics curator Darrin Alfred has put together this large show dedicated to furniture and decor 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.