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
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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
"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
"Marecak Diptych," Kirkland Museum of Fine &
Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or