Best Emerging Artist Show -- Group Denver 2002 - 32/26
The inner workings of the art world are hard to explain. Consider last winter's 32/26, at the Andenken Gallery, which paired 32-year-old painter Karen McClanahan with 26-year-old sculptor Jonathan Stiles. Though neither artist had a familiar name, the show somehow generated a tremendous buzz. In fact, the word on the street was out before anyone had even seen the work. Even stranger is that 32/26 lived up to the hype. McClanahan's chaste, neo-minimalist paintings were fabulous -- and although they had nothing in common with Stiles's various types of modernist sculpture, the pairing was inspired nonetheless. During the course of the show, a who's who from Denver's art scene, including curators and gallery directors, came through, and McClanahan and Stiles suddenly found themselves being talked about by everyone. Certainly nothing better could have happened to a couple of former unknowns.