Art Review

Colorado & the West shines at David Cook Fine Art

This is the tenth summer in a row that David Cook Fine Art (1637 Wazee Street, 303-623-8181,, the state's premier purveyor of late nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century material, has presented a group show dedicated to historic Western art. And as could be expected, the current incarnation, Colorado & the West, is a spectacular museum-quality outing. This time, the exhibit has been divided into two sections: on the main floor is a solo comprising more than two dozen works by Charles Partridge Adams, while downstairs, there's a group show.

Adams is represented by both oil paintings and watercolors (an untitled example is pictured) in what is thought to be the largest selection of his work ever presented in a commercial gallery. Active at the turn of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth, Adams began as a realist, but his greatest claim to fame is as the state's most important impressionist. No matter what the style, his landscapes are invariably light-filled.

The second half of the show includes the work of a number of artists associated with the long-defunct Broadmoor Academy in Colorado Springs. There's a nude by Robert Reid and an expressionist scene by Charles Bunnell, plus several of Birger Sandzen's paintings and prints. There are also pieces by prominent Denver artists, including a group of watercolors by Vance Kirkland, whose work is rarely offered for sale, and two mural studies by Allen Tupper True, whose works are even more rarely seen on the market. These impressive Colorado selections have been supplemented by a nice array of New Mexico pieces, including paintings by Howard Cook, Pansy Stockton and Doel Reed.

Colorado & the West is a glorious salute to the region's rich artistic heritage -- just as the previous nine renditions of it have been. The show closes June 30.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia