20th Century Modernists. For her first show, Thérèse O'Gorman — who moved from Santa Fe to become the exhibition director at David Cook Fine Art in LoDo — has put together 20th Century Modernists, which highlights abstraction done in the West. The show proper, in the street-level space, is dedicated to New Mexico artists, but O'Gorman has also done a chaser to it, on the lower level, which includes historic abstractionists active in Colorado. As usual for David Cook, there is no shortage of first-rate material by the most significant artists from the period. Among the standouts on the main floor are the Kandinsky-esque compositions of Emil Bisttram; the non-objective pieces by Raymond Jonson, the master of using hard margins to differentiate forms; and the lyrical automatist work by Beatrice Mandelman. Downstairs, O'Gorman has mixed in the work of Colorado modernists as an extension of the show upstairs, including some choice abstract landscapes by Ethel Magafan. The revelation, however, is Charles Bunnell's constructivism, exemplified by three paintings of the type. Through February 28 at David Cook Fine Art, 1637 Wazee Street, 303-623-8181, davidcookfineart.com. Reviewed January 24.
Colorado Art Survey VIII. Every year, Kirkland Museum director Hugh Grant organizes a show in which new acquisitions are combined with pieces already in the collection to illustrate the art history of the state. Grant lays out the somewhat sequential stylistic categories in roughly chronological order. The date range for this year's version is 1875 (a landscape by Hamilton Hamilton) to 2011 (a combine-painting by Emilio Lobato and a ceramic piece by Jeff Wenzel). In between are some remarkable things, notably a newly acquired 1920s Robert Reid painting of the Broadmoor Hotel as seen from the mountains. Reid, a nationally known impressionist, taught at the Broadmoor Academy at the time. Also notable is a '30s view of the Garden of the Gods by Ward Lockwood, another Broadmoor Academy teacher. This being the Kirkland, a good deal of the show is dedicated to modernism, including surrealism and various types of abstraction, with examples by Al Wynne, Ken Goehring, Mary Chenoweth, Charles Bunnell and others. Through April 21 at the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, 1311 Pearl Street, 303-832-8576, www.kirklandmuseum.org.
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Sam Scott & Jim Waid; Homare Ikeda. The spacious main floor at the William Havu Gallery has been given over to a strong duet, 100 Years of Painting: Sam Scott & Jim Waid. The reason that the century mark is referenced in the title is because Scott and Waid each have a fifty-year-art-career under their individual belts. Scott, who has long lived in New Mexico, creates paintings that at first glance appear to exemplify abstract expressionism. Closer examination, however, reveals various cues indicating that underneath the daubs and smears lies a landscape -- which in turn explains why the series on view is called "Earth, Water and Sky." Waid hails from Tucson, and he also refers to nature in his abstracted scenes, but he's more obvious, using a number of recognizable elements like birds and cactus, though there's also a lot of pure abstraction mixed in. His style is something like a cross between black velvet paintings and Jean-Michel Basquiat compositions. Upstairs on the mezzanine is a show devoted to Homare Ikeda's quirky abstracts, which luxuriously stack painterly gestures and oddball forms. Through March 2 at William Havu Gallery, 1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360, www.williamhavugallery.com.