Reviewed: Eight Art Shows to See This Weekend!

"Immigration," by John Buck.
"Immigration," by John Buck.
Robischon Gallery

This is a good weekend to get out and see art, with some of this year's big shows nearing the end of their run while other worthy exhibits are opening all the time. Keep reading for capsule reviews of current exhibits in metro Denver, in the order that they're closing, starting with a great show at Robischon.

Installation view of Ana Maria Hernando's "Flor Presagiada por el Agua" (Flower Foretold by Water) at Robischon.
Installation view of Ana Maria Hernando's "Flor Presagiada por el Agua" (Flower Foretold by Water) at Robischon.
Robischon Gallery

John Buck and Ana Maria Hernando. “Over the top” wouldn’t even get halfway to describing what the main exhibit at Robischon, John Buck, is like. It's a followup to one the artist mounted at the gallery coinciding with 2015’s Biennial of the Americas. As was the case with that show, this one is populated by prints, sculptures and a set of incredible — and monumental — kinetics. Some pieces are politically charged, including the showstoppers, “The Immigration” and “The Potomac Waltz,” each of which essentially occupies its own gallery. Others refer to art history — in particular, “Against the Grain,” which features representations of modernist pioneers. The show also includes Buck’s spectacular woodblock prints, his enigmatic bas-reliefs and his elegant sculptures, all of which provide the perfect counterpoint to his kinetic installations. The other solo at Robischon, Ana Maria Hernando, comprises a black-on-black painting of an abstracted flower and an associated installation of translucent disks, the whole thing dimly lit by pin lights and a video projection. Through December 17 at Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, robischongallery.com. Read the full review of the Robischon shows here.

“Redacted Memory,” by Doug Kacena, painted over “Intimate Encounter,” by Ron Hicks.
“Redacted Memory,” by Doug Kacena, painted over “Intimate Encounter,” by Ron Hicks.
Persistent Imagery

Crossover. Colorado artist Doug Kacena came up with a provocative idea for an exhibit: He would paint over other people’s paintings, employing his own style, while having those artists paint over his, using their respective styles. It’s an unusual move, even if there are art-historical precedents. The resulting show is on view at LoDo’s Mike Wright Gallery. The context is set in the initial pairing in the entry. To the right is “Awash,” in which Kacena painted over Kevin Weckbach’s “Watergate,” allowing the ghost of a landscape to float below an all-over abstraction. To the left, the relationship is reversed with Ed Kucera’s “Majesty in Blue,” which covers Kacena’s “Air Above Ground” and in the process turns an abstract into a background for a painting of a horse. Weckbach and Kucera are famous traditional realists, as are all of the others recruited for the show; Kacena wanted to create a bridge between these realists and abstraction. The show features photos of the originals displayed next to the painted alterations, as well as a documentary describing the process. Through January 14 at Mike Wright Gallery, 1412 Wazee Street, 303-590-9800, mikewrightgallery.com.  Read the full review of Crossover.

"Large Wall Flower" by James Surls.
"Large Wall Flower" by James Surls.
Robert Millman

James Surls and Charmaine Locke. Among the things that the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center does well is present exhibits dedicated to significant regional artists, as exemplified by the current display, All I Ever Wanted: James Surls and Charmaine Locke. Surls and Locke are husband-and-wife artists who live in the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen and have been together for forty years. The ambitious exhibit was organized by Joy Armstrong, the CSFAC’s curator of modern and contemporary art. Armstrong decided to chiefly feature the pieces the two have done since they came to Colorado in the 1990s — thus the show is not a retrospective, but instead a thematically organized duet that combines their distinct yet compatible pieces. Surls, the more famous of the two, is in his seventies, and reveals in a poem on the wall the debt that he owes to Locke for his success. Surely that debt is partly repaid by this tremendous opportunity — via CSFAC curator Armstrong — to show Locke's intriguing work next to his. Through January 15 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 1-719-634-5581, csfineartscenter.org. Read the full review of All I Ever Wanted .

Installation view of Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper.
Installation view of Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper.
Joseph Wambold courtesy Clyfford Still Museum

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper. Although almost exclusively known for his paintings, Clyfford Still created many more works on paper during his sixty-year career. For the most part, though, he didn't exhibit them. Curators Dean Sobel, David Anfam and Bailey H. Placzek sifted through the 2,300 works on paper in the Clyfford Still Museum’s collection to select the 256 they included in Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper. The show, which occupies the entire set of exhibition spaces on the second floor, begins with drawings done when Still was in his twenties and thirties, and reveals that this master of abstraction could have had a career as a realist. In the late 1930s, Still began to create non-objective compositions, and by the early ’40s had developed the work that established his place in the pantheon of abstract expressionism. These pieces demonstrate that Still was fascinated by modest gestures and minimal markings, and he returned to them again and again, finding a seemingly endless variety of ways to express them. It’s almost as if he did just a handful of arrangements, assembling them in hundreds of different ways, yet always keeping them fresh. Through January 15 at the Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock Street, 720-354-4880, clyffordstillmuseum.org. Read the full review of The Works on Paper.

Installation view of Kim Dickey: Words Are Leaves.
Installation view of Kim Dickey: Words Are Leaves.
Jeff Wells

Kim Dickey. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is hosting a large and significant solo called Kim Dickey: Words Are Leaves that ranges across the entire set of galleries and connecting spaces on the institution’s second floor. The exhibit, curated by Nora Burnett Abrams, begins with the work Dickey was doing in New York before she came to Colorado, but included are pieces done after she arrived. The chief revelation of this display is that in some of her earliest pieces, Dickey was concerned with making almost invisible references to the human body, a trait that’s overshadowed by her more obvious botanical imagery, which has dominated the main current of her art production since that time. Among the several showstoppers is the combination of the monumental ceramic bas-relief “Parterre” with the floor installation in front of it, “Rosebud Bush and Lift and Divide Rug.” Also spectacular are the lineup of monumental urns and the room filled with leaf-covered animal sculptures. These works not only reveal the predominating garden theme, but they also illustrate Dickey’s idea of creating sculptures that are geometric, minimalist and decorative, all at the same time. Through January 22 at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, 303-298-7554, mcadenver.org. Read the full review of Kim Dickey: Words Are Leaves .

Keep reading for more reviews.
 

Carroll Dunham, "Shootist," 2000.
Carroll Dunham, "Shootist," 2000.
Denver Art Museum

Audacious. Last summer, Rebecca Hart took the rudder of the Denver Art Museum’s Modern and Contemporary department, and Audacious: Contemporary Artists Speak Out, in the main galleries on the third level of the DAM’s Hamilton Building, is her debut effort. Although Audacious is meant to showcase objects from the DAM’s permanent collection, this particular assortment has been heavily salted with pieces from the private holdings of Kent and Vicki Logan. The largesse of other important donors is included, too, but to a lesser extent. Among the standouts are several works by American artists such as Philip Guston, Robert Colescott, David Hammons, Barbara Kruger, Brian Alfred and Ben Jackel. There’s also a big European presence, especially among the YBA (Young British Artists), who are now, alas, not so young. First among these is Damien Hirst’s “Do you know what I like about you?,” from 1994. Chinese art likewise plays a large role in Audacious, and there are even some Colorado artists included, among them Tony Ortega, Jack Balas and Viviane Le Courtois. Through February 26, 2017, at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org.

Phil Risbeck and John Sorbie. It might seem like a stretch for Darrin Alfred, the Denver Art Museum’s curator of architecture, design and graphics, to come up with something relevant to dance, the museum’s theme this summer; after all, his specialties are defined by their static quality, while dance is about movement. But Alfred did, with the clever Performance on Paper: The Posters of Phil Risbeck and John Sorbie. Even more interesting is a connection that the show has to a different topic — that of Western art, with Alfred mounting the show in the Western American galleries. Dance posters are one of several categories of arts posters included, but the connecting thread is there. Designers Risbeck and Sorbie separately created remarkable bodies of posters, printed over many decades. And while it’s hard to make specific stylistic observations about either designer, some general ones can be made; for instance, both juxtapose eye-catching imagery with text blocks. Posters are easy to like, which is their mandate – but these are especially appealing, because they were done by world-renowned Colorado artists. Through January 8, 2017, at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org. Read the full review of the Phil Risbeck and John Sorbie show.

Unbound: Sculpture in the Field. Since the Arvada Center sits on a very large site, exhibitions manager Collin Parson and assistant curator Kristin Bueb decided to use a small part of it as a xeric sculpture garden. Parson and Bueb invited Cynthia Madden Leitner, of the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood, to partner with the Center in the effort. The MOA has made a specialty of placing large pieces of sculpture in various spots around metro Denver, and that technical expertise was very desirable. The group put together a list of sculptors they wanted to include, and the final roster of fifteen artists was established, with most being represented by two pieces. The participating artists, all of whom live in Colorado and work in abstraction or conceptual abstraction, are Vanessa Clarke, Emmett Culligan, John Ferguson, Erick Johnson, Andy Libertone, Nancy Lovendahl, Robert Mangold, Patrick Marold, David Mazza, Andy Miller, Charles Parson, Carl Reed, Joe Riché, Kevin Robb and Bill Vielehr. Extended through March 2017 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, 720-898­7200, arvadacenter.org. Read the Unbound review here.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Denver Art Museum

100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204

720-865-5000

www.denverartmuseum.org

miles
Robischon Gallery
miles
MCA Denver

1485 Delgany St.
Denver, CO 80202

303-298-7554

www.mcadenver.org

miles
Clyfford Still Museum
miles
Mike Wright Gallery
miles
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

30 W. Dale St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

719-634-5581

www.csfineartscenter.org


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >