Art Review

Review: After Forty Years, the Arvada Center Is Moving Forward

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is marking its fortieth anniversary with two notable shows: Looking Back: 40 Years, 40 Artists, a survey of Colorado contemporary art over the past four decades that I reviewed last week, and Moving Forward: The Next Forty Years, an exhibit in the upper-level galleries put together by Kristin Bueb, the center’s gallery coordinator.
Moving Forward includes work by eighteen artists and an artist pair, bringing the total to twenty. Bueb selected artists whose careers are just taking off, choosing from a mental list of those she’d wanted to include in exhibits but hadn’t had a chance to — until now. As with Looking Back, most of the pieces in this show can be sorted into the broad categories of abstract, representational and conceptual art (plus photos and ceramics) — but with these younger artists, there’s more hybridization of the three styles.
The exhibit starts with a showstopper installed at the top of the stairs: “Turn It Off,” by Dylan Gebbia-Richards. A monumental painting carried out with tinted-wax stalagmites piled up the panel, it’s one of two spectacular pieces by this artist in the show. Other non-objective or abstract works (with and without conceptual content) include pieces by Sandra Fettingis, Andrew Jensdotter, Jodie Roth Cooper, Heather Patterson and that artist pair, Hollis + Lana, a partnership of Conor Hollis and Amorette Lana. There are also spectacular sculptures by Kazu Oba.
Representational imagery is employed in various ways, with the straightforward view of clouds by Ian Fisher establishing one pole and the mash-up of mechanical images and abstract forms by Mario Zoots staking out the opposite one. This group also includes lowbrow drawings by Donald Fodness, neo-pop portraits by Daisy Patton, and meticulous realist renderings by Ashley Eliza Williams.
Among the purely conceptual pieces are two panels by Joseph Coniff done in a style that could be called “Home Depot minimalism,” since he uses vinyl siding instead of paint, and Anna Kaye’s realist charcoal drawing of a bottle with a video of a flame projected onto it. Tobias Fike, Adán de la Garza and Lucas T. McMahon also contribute conceptual pieces. Functional ceramics by Neil Celani and photos of forlorn Western scenes by Paul Sisson check off the rest of the boxes on the roster.
Moving Forward runs through November 13 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada. Call 720-898-7200 or go to 
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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