ISM's goal is to bring worthy emerging artists to the fore, and that's surely what the first Force Future accomplished. The likes of Karen McClanahan, John Morrison, Jonathan Stiles and Zach Smith had their Denver debuts in that great invitational, and all of them have gone on to bigger things. But the 2002 edition, a juried show, is uneven. I'm not sure why ISM fixed something that wasn't broken -- let alone broke something that was fixed -- but that's exactly what the group did.
This is not to say there's nothing worth seeing here. Michael Burnett's abstract painting is very nice, as are a pair of blue-toned digital-dye coupler prints by Kelly Shroads. Two Elia Bettaglio paintings combine color-field abstraction and stenciled patterns in an unusual way; Colin Livingston, Michele Bury and Dian Geissinger Frey, all alums of the first Force Future, also show interesting work. And last but not least is James Morgan, whose "Some Things Pop!" is seen above.
Morgan's geometric paintings also are featured in Pseudoforms, now at the Andenken Annex (1449 Wynkoop Street, 303-832-4819). Morgan leaves large areas of raw, sanded Masonite which serve as the ground for his paintings; his use of black gesso and colored pencils adds to the innovative effect.
Morgan has been paired with young sculptor Steve Lemon, who creates the sculptures in Dissimulation with cardboard tubes, foam and steel. Lemon says the black-and-white constructions, pierced by holes, are based on the figure. Although that's hard to see, it is easy to spot Lemon's great promise.
The two exhibits at Andenken Annex close on August 30; Force Future 2002 ends the next day.