Art With a Future

Local artist Xi Zhang ended up here, direct from China, because of an obsession with the Beat poets; the lure of Naropa University and Denver's Beat history landed him at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, where he was once a student and is now a teacher. And though still young, he's taken a giant leap in the art world since arriving in Colorado, building a mature and prolific portfolio in a short time. “He's taken leaps and strides with each new body of work," says Ivar Zeile of Plus Gallery, who represents Zhang. "He's explosive with color. I'm not seeing other artists attempt this.” The artist, he adds, has really grown beyond any category. Yet, as a cultural anomaly on the Front Range, who better to represent the force of Chinese contemporary art?

That will be Zhang's task when he headlines the Logan Lecture series tonight at the Denver Art Museum, in conjunction with the exhibition Xu Beihong: Pioneer of Modern Chinese Painting, which opens at the end of October. Zhang will speak about his work as well as introduce a new Plus-produced monograph, Xi Zhang: Dream Dust, beginning at 7 p.m. in the DAM's Hamilton Building. The museum is at 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; admission to the lecture ranges from $8 to $18. For information and reservations, visit or call 720-913-0130.
Wed., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd