Charles Bunnell. A pioneer abstractionist is the star of Charles Bunnell: Rocky Mountain Modern at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The show was curated by Blake Milteer, the CSFAC's museum director and curator of American art, who built it around the private collection of James and Virginia Moffett, who live in Kansas City. It was supplemented with pieces from the CSFAC's own hoard and from local private collections. Though the exhibit appears to include every dead end or cul-de-sac that Bunnell ever went down, it actually doesn't, since the artist was relentlessly experimental. The show also reveals those periods in which the experiments came together and he was able to create some very solid work. If you ignore the wrong turns he made, you can definitely see how each of his successful experiments led to the next. There are the expressionist landscapes from the 1920s, the cubo-regionalist scenes from the 1930s, and the geometric abstractions of the 1950s, which morphed into abstract expressionism in the 1960s. Through September 15 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 719-634-5583, csfineartscenter.org. Reviewed August 22.
Charles Partridge Adams. Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams highlights the career of a prominent turn-of-the-nineteenth-century impressionist who lived and worked in Colorado for decades. Adams first came to Colorado in 1876, when he was only eighteen years old. He was self-taught, but worked informally in Denver with Helen Henderson Chain, who in turn had studied with George Inness. By the 1890s, like many other landscape painters of the time, Adams embraced impressionism, with his signature style becoming increasingly more expressive into the 1910s. Adams was part of a generation of landscape painters who were grounded in Hudson River School aesthetics. But like other American impressionists, he blended this classic sensibility with the painterly devices being revealed at the time in France. In 1917, Partridge retired to California. Thomas Smith, the DAM's Curator of Western American Art, has chosen three dozen examples of the artist's best work. Through September 8 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org.
Collin Parson. Collin Parson wears two hats in the local art world — three, if you count the fact that he's the son of prominent area sculptor Charles Parson. One is as the director of the visual-art program at the Arvada Center; the other is as an artist. Working with light as his chief medium, Parson is currently the subject of a good-looking solo at Z Art Department with the preposterous title ReWorked: the Collin Parson Experience. The show is something like a brief survey of Parson's work done over the past few years, with the oldest pieces dating back to 2008 and the newest ones done only in the past few months. Parson's work is in the form of lightboxes — that is, boxes that hang on the wall and have internal lighting. The earliest boxes are made of wood that's been painted black, with voids routed out that allow the light to come through. At first Parson used fluorescent lights, but as time has gone on, he's switched to LEDs, which allow the colors to change periodically. For the newer pieces, Parson switched to acrylic panels in a range of colors and with laser-cut voids. Through September 15 at Z Art Department, 1136 Speer Boulevard, 303-298-8432, email@example.com. Reviewed August 15.
Pattern Play. Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag, at the Denver Art Museum, is one of many shows that make up Spun, a museum-wide event that's anchored by fabrics and other materials. The pieces on view were selected by Darrin Alfred, curator of the architecture, design and graphics department, and were mostly taken from the vast collection of modernist textiles assembled by Jill Wiltse and Kirk Brown. Born in Czechoslovakia, Groag went to Vienna to study with Josef Hoffman, then to Paris, where she designed fabrics for Chanel, among others. With her husband, Jacques Groag, she moved to England on the eve of World War II. It was in post-war Britain that she emerged as a major player in pattern design. This show includes many examples of her fabrics — in the form of beautifully preserved swatches — as well as drawings and sketches that were done in preparation for the finished products. There are also designs for other materials like laminate tabletops. Through September 8 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org.
Paul Ching-Bor + Sharon Feder. Goodwin Fine Art is presenting a duet, Urbanism: Paul Ching-Bor + Sharon Feder, comprising paintings of buildings. Paul Ching-Bor, who was born in Hong Kong and spent a good deal of his time in Sydney, is now based in New York. His paintings here depict scenes around the missing World Trade Center, including depictions of the twin light beams that were used as an ad hoc memorial for a time. Ching-Bor says that the attack on the WTC made him realize that he was a New Yorker, because the tragedy bound people in the city together. The paintings, on dark paper, are highly abstract and fairly minimal, but nonetheless convey the idea of the city at night. Colorado's Sharon Feder does something entirely different, even if she's also interested in buildings. Finding her subjects bathed in sunlight, Feder uses a bright palette. And whereas Ching-Bor takes in an expansive view, Feder zeroes in on details, cropping out the three-dimensional elements of the structures to focus on walls, which she renders as constructivist patterns of shapes. Through September 14 at Goodwin Fine Art, 1255 Delaware Street, 303-573-1255, goodwinfineart.com.
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