#94: Lanny DeVuono
Lanny DeVuono draws and paints landscapes that are out of this world. Her current series, some of which is on view right now at MCA Denver, explores space and planetary terrains from points of view both hyper-real and abstracted, in a continuation of her general quest to reinvent the art of landscape. Much-awarded with a Fulbright Fellowship and past residencies everywhere from Yaddo to RedLine under her belt, a dedicated teacher at University of Colorado Denver and a gallery artist at Goodwin Gallery, DeVuono brings an experienced eye to everything she does. Here are her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Lanny DeVuono: This question is tricky for me, as the people I think I’d like to collaborate with aren’t necessarily the collaborative type, but I can imagine myself comfortably ensconced in a room next to Emily Brönte at the parsonage busily making pictures of the moors, Heathcliff and Catherine, or images for the other book she didn’t get to write. Being a court artist in al-Andalus under Abd-ar-Rahman III, who ran a very tolerant caliphate, might be interesting, and certainly if I had been collaborating with Ingres, I would have discouraged his penchant for peeping in on women while they were bathing.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
In terms of known figures? At the moment I am impressed with Beyoncé’s latest video, Formation, but also with Bernie Sanders, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elena Ferrante and Peter Frankopan.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I like trends — in word use, fashion, art and more. I think they describe the vitality of modern life, and I like to watch them emerge and die and then morph and re-emerge.
What's your day job?
Teaching — and I love it.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Probably pretty much what I do now, but maybe I’d like to join the 200-plus individuals who've gotten to orbit the earth on the Soyuz Spacecraft en route to the International Space station. It’s hard to get an exact price on it; when Guy Laliberté went in 2009, it cost him US $40 million. Maybe it’s gone down with the falling price of gas.
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I’m new enough to Denver to still be fascinated by it: its raw beauty, the people I’ve met, the way it forms communities and its art scene, which continues to change and become more complex.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
I was surprised to discover that, unlike in Washington State or New York, there really aren’t individual artists’ grants or fellowships in Colorado. There should be.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
There are so many — I’ll start a list, but it is going to be incomplete. Digital artists such as Christina Battle; mixed-media artists such as Derrick Velasquez, Gretchen Schaefer, Jaime Carrejo, Amber Cobb, Don Fodness and Laura Shill; filmmakers such as Kelly Sears and Jeanne Liotta; and painters from Trine Bumiller to Kate Petley to Margaret Neumann — all make work that I want to see.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I’m on a sabbatical and just came back from a residency on the Sahara in Morocco near the Algerian border. I went there to do research on fabricated fantasies of extraterrestrial landscapes. Now I want to take some road trips and pay attention to the deserts here in the U.S.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I suspect Becky Hart will get a lot of notice this year. She just arrived this past fall, and I think that after the Denver Art Museum’s long search for a contemporary curator, her work will attract increasing notice.
The exhibit Critical Focus: Lanny DeVuono runs through June 5 at MCA Denver. Learn more about Lanny DeVuono and her work online.