Clark Richert. In the few years it's been in business, Gildar Gallery has mostly showcased young and up-and-coming artists, but with Dimension and Symmetry: Clark Richert, the intimate space on Broadway has moved to Denver's big time, as Richert is among the best-known artists in the state. The show comes complete with an essay by Cydney Payton, former director of MCA Denver, and was co-curated by Robin Rule, the artist's longtime representative. It features ten major paintings, some digital prints and a projection. Though all the paintings reveal Richert's interest in mathematical formulas — formulas he uses to determine his patterns — and in straight lines, the pieces actually vary quite a bit. There are the expected all-over patterns — his signature approach — some carried out in vaporous shades, others in toned-up colors. And there are paintings depicting actual landscapes, including one of the world-famous art community Drop City, which Richert and others founded in the 1960s. The painting, which takes an archly geometric approach to perspective, depicts a scene populated by domed structures made from wrecked cars. Through January 18 at Gildar Gallery, 82 South Broadway, 303-993-4474, gildargallery.com. Reviewed December 12.
Court to Cafe. Angelica Daneo, the Denver Art Museum's associate curator of painting and sculpture, has seriously reinterpreted a traveling show called Masters of French Art, by imposing a historic structure that guided her selections. Renamed Court to Cafe, the works come from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, with the show being part of the DAM's larger Passport to Paris. In a series of rooms in the Anschutz Gallery, Daneo has laid out the development of France through its art from the time of kings and queens, to the French Revolution and its aftermath, to the rise of Paris as a modern city. The exhibit begins in the 17th and 18th centuries and concludes with the great masters of the 19th century that made France the center of the art world at that time. Daneo hit a home run with this one, but then again, how can you go wrong with a series of rooms that culminate with the rise of impressionism and post-impressionism? Who can't appreciate that stuff? Through February 9 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org; tickets are required. Reviewed November 28.
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Cross Currents. This ambitious show, put together by CVA creative director Cecily Cullen, showcases contemporary art by Native Americans from across the country. It is a followup to Currents, a show Cullen did at the old LoDo CVA in 2009 that was on the same theme and was equally intelligent in its conception. (Incidentally, Currents marked Cullen's curatorial debut.) In a way, this show picks up where that one left off, and it includes three artists — Nicholas Galanin, Marie Watt and Will Wilson — who were also in the earlier version. Cullen points out that in the earlier show, the three were cast as emerging artists, but in the current endeavor, they are the old guard, firmly established in their careers. Thanks to the series of small galleries that make up the CVA, all of the artists are essentially given small, clearly defined solos — but taken together, they successfully form the overall thematic group show. The other featured artists are Cannupahanska, Frank Buffalo Hyde, Merritt Johnson, Sarah Ortegon, Wendy Red Star and Sarah Sense. Through February 8 at the MSU Center for Visual Art, 965 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-5207, msudenver.edu/cva.
David Kimball Anderson et al. The winter offerings at Robischon include four distinct exhibits, with the marquee offering, David Kimball Anderson: Altitude, installed in the series of spaces immediately inside the entrance. Altitude marks the first Denver solo for this California artist, who has used the opportunity to fill the space with installations meant to evoke the journey of twentieth-century Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche; not surprisingly, the show includes evocations of the Buddha. Beyond the connecting space is Bill Armstrong, a display of photo-based works by this New York artist concerning the Buddha and the mandala. Beyond is Gibson + Recorder: Transparency, in which New York couple Sandra Gibson and Luis Recorder use old-fashioned film projectors and film as key materials in their sculptures and projections. Finally, in the niche space, is Chuck Forsman: From the Vietnamerican Series, which comprises a quartet of the Boulder artist's mashed-up views of the U.S. and Vietnam. Extended to January 11 at Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, robischongallery.com.