Article: Best of 2007


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Best of art Inside and outside new museums, these galleries, curators and exhibitors sizzled
By Kyle MacMillan Denver Post Fine Arts Critic
December 28, 2007

Rule Gallery's stunning exhibits included Kim Dickey's garden sculptures. (Rule Gallery )Related Entertainment - best of 2007 Dec 30: Best of 2007: Top jazz albumsJohn Wenzel's Top CDs Best of 2007: TV highs and lows. Like the year before and probably for several years yet to come, museum construction dominated the headlines this year, as the Denver-Boulder art scene continues an unprecedented growth spurt.

In October, the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver opened an environmentally sensitive, light-infused building that has been well received by local and national critics alike.

Construction is expected to begin in March on the University of Colorado at Boulder's $63.5 million visual arts complex, which will include a significantly expanded home for the CU Art Museum, which has long suffered from inadequate facilities.

In addition, planning continues for the Clyfford Still Museum, which is expected to open in 2010. Architect Brad Cloepfil is likely to unveil his much-anticipated design for the modestly sized building some time in 2008.

Here's a look at some other highlights of the year:

Curator of the year, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson

No museum in the state offers a more consistently strong and perceptive lineup of contemporary art exhibitions than the Aspen Art Museum, which makes the most of its limited resources. Much of the credit belongs to Jacobson, who took over as the museum's director and chief curator in 2005. As she demonstrated with the beautiful, insightful exhibition, "Like Color in Pictures" and other offerings in 2007, this ambitious, well-connected curator knows how to take the pulse of the international art scene without falling victim to faddishness.

Emerging artist of the year, Chase DeForest

Imagination, craftsmanship and wit all came together as DeForest made a smashing Denver debut with a solo exhibition at the Ironton Gallery. Blurring the boundaries of sculpture and design, the Seattle native created wacky and wonderful one-of-a-kind furniture all based in some way on a sport or recreational pursuit.

Art space of the year, Rule Gallery

No other commercial art gallery in Denver matched Rule's high-quality line-up of shows this past year. Leading the list were an elegant, site-specific installation of Kim Dickey's garden sculptures, a quiet, meditative group of bronze works by Yoshitomo Saito and an ongoing look at the smart abstractions of Pard Morrison. If that wasn't enough, Rule took part in Flow, an invitational art fair held earlier this month in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach.

Comings and goings

Dianne Vanderlip, a leading force on the Denver art scene during her 29-year tenure as the Denver Art Museum's founding curator of modern and contemporary art, departed in January, leaving a huge void. Taking her place is Christoph Heinrich, the well-regarded chief curator of the Hamburg Kunsthalle in Germany, who appears to be a first-rate choice in every way.

Top 10 art shows of 2007 "The Disasters of War," Singer Gallery, Mizel Arts & Culture Center.

"Like Color in Pictures," Aspen Art Museum.

"Maria: American Icon," Maria Martinez, Denver Art Museum.

"Heads," Fang Lijun, The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar, Lakewood.

"Clyfford Still Unveiled: Selections from the Estate," Denver Art Museum.

"Masters in Clay," Sandra Phillips Gallery.

"Sculptors Drawing," Aspen Art Museum.

"Quasi-Symmetries," Clark Richert, Rule Gallery.

"Color as Field: American Painting, 1950-1975," Denver Art Museum.

"Marecak Diptych," Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.

Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or 



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