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Denver's independent source of local news and culture. But even the poorest aesthete can build up a cachet of original works at an Art Trading Card swap, where painters, drawers and doodlers convene to barter tiny masterpieces. The cards are only two by three inches -- about the size of your average baseball card -- so you'll probably still need to find something for the wall above the sofa. In the meantime, go forth and trade: Outside of what it might cost you to create or reproduce your own cards, this club is absolutely free.
Retrospectacle was not only one of the best bets of the past year, but oftoo, since it will stay up through the summer. Tokyo, for example, is filled with Yankee Doodle standards like skyscrapers, neon s and McDonald's. This influence extends to the arts, as well, and Cydney Payton, director of Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, tapped into the trend with POPjacka show combining American pop art with Japanese art based on it. The exhibit ably demonstrated how two worlds could collide and converge at the same time.
The fabulous monumental sculptures on display had gravity-defying features, with big slabs of native Colorado stone soaring at preposterous angles. There is a whole new generation of young sculptors -- many of whom are very good -- that has emerged in the past few seasons, but Culligan stands out as the best of the current bunch. In this show, two great Colorado painters translated the familiar tradition into something new. Don Stinson romanticized the ruins of motels, gas stations and drive-ins by depicting them in magnificent natural settings, while Karen Kitchel created a conceptual installation out of 96 related plant paintings that led the viewer through the four seasons.
Though distinct, the artists' individual styles both expressed a single coherent theme: the West right now. For his anniversary last fall, Havu dedicated an exhibit to some of his favorite artists, most from Colorado. With some of the state's best Swingers club Santa Fe on board, Anniversary Show was truly something to celebrate.
The show was put together by Kay Wisnia, a staff member of the DPL's Western History department, who used her relationships with major collectors such as Hugh Grant and Kathy Loo in order to borrow important pieces. With access to these private troves, Wisnia gave viewers a rare opportunity to see things that have almost never been exhibited publicly before. Koons, who showed related work earlier at Edge Gallery, transforms old master paintings into contemporary ones.
After choosing a landscape from art history, he paints the scene, but he does it out of focus and then fills in the details with a rainbow of non-naturalistic colors. Though they have the look of computer-generated prints, the works are actually hand-done acrylics on canvas. The resulting works presented at this Sante Fe Drive arts district gallery were stunning; judging by this promising show, we think the best from the young Koons is yet to come.
Morrison While kids right out of art school can often score a co-op gig if they're lucky, they almost never wind up at a top gallery -- especially one like Judish Fine Arts, a stunning space in a Victorian stone church in northwest Denver.
But that's precisely what happened to John Morrison, who made his debut at Ron Judish's gallery last year. A smart combo of sloppy abstract expressionism and anal minimalism, Morrison's paintings represented a reconciliation of opposites. The colors were luscious and impeccably chosen, put together in perfectly conceived juxtapositions.
Morrison has kept a low profile lately, and his work has not been seen since the show closed, which is too bad, because it was definitely one of last year's best efforts. Pete's Kitchen Best Breakfast at 2 a.
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The homegrown blockbuster Retrospectaclewhich opened last fall at the Denver Art Museum, has been described as a "Dianne Vanderlip lovefest. Denver sculptor Emmett Culligan made a splash when he first emerged on the scene a few years ago, and since then, he's gotten relentlessly better.
It's hard to believe it's already been four years since William Havu opened his flashy gallery in the Golden Triangle, and even harder to remember that the neighborhood -- now an urban enclave - was simply a deserted mess. The growth of modern painting from to as it played itself out in Swingers club Santa Fe was the topic of the impressive Colorado Collections IIwhich hung in the Denver Public Library's Vida Ellison Gallery.
The quirky and elegant paintings in the Bob Koons exhibit Nearness of Distance at Carson-Masuoka Gallery were fresh off the easel -- and they looked it. While kids right out of art school can often score a co-op gig if they're lucky, they almost never wind up at a top gallery -- especially one like Judish Fine Arts, a stunning space in a Victorian stone church in northwest Denver.
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