In Lodo: Western art with a modern perspective
Ryan Summerlin April 19, 2012
High Country dwellers who love modern art and who also fancy contemporary art will want to make the trek down to Denver’s LoDo Art District before May 5 to pay a visit to the Robischon Gallery of Contemporary Art.
Robischon is currently featuring concurrent solo exhibitions featuring the artists Stephen Batura, Edie Winograde, Jerry Kunkel and Gary Emrich. Each is a master of their craft and is regularly shown by Robischon in Denver and other regional and national venues. The exhibition, titled “Appropriated: The Chronicled West,” opened with an artist reception March 29.
The carefully coordinated four-part exhibition features painting, photography and video by these recognized Colorado artists, utilizing a wide range of historical Western imagery as their initial resource material, ranging from documentary photographs and battleground re-enactments, to iconic paintings of the period and its subsequent decorative kitsch.
“This would be a great show for mountain viewers to embrace. The theme of the West endures – partly through our geographic location, but also through the mythical representation that the West retains for all Americans,” said Robischon’s Debra Malik Demosthenes. “Come see the show, its terrific.”
The exhibition presents the viewer with, according to Demosthenes, “the grand spectacle of the bygone or stereotypic West while offering it as a point of departure within the subject of each artist’s uniquely different exploration and approach.”
Robischon is renowned for its courage in showing contemporary art in a predominantly traditional Western market. “The kitsch references the stereotypical Western imagery — the sheriff, the cowboy, majestic vistas, etc., that finds its way into odd utilitarian objects like the decorative Western liquor decanters that Gary Emrich uses in his ‘Firewater’ series,” Demosthenes said.
“It sets a challenging stage for two impending events in Denver’s downtown: the opening of the giant, new History Colorado Center on April 28 and, soon after, the public unveiling of the American Museum of Western Art, which will display the vast collection of businessman Philip Anschutz,” said Ray Mark Rinaldi of the Denver Post. “Those two operations will offer their own views of the West as it was, more holistic (and, one hopes, more optimistic), and this exhibit serves as a serious, if small-scale, filter for consuming them.”
For Summit County residents looking to experience the highest level of contemporary art, Robischon represents and exhibits a range of ground-breaking artists such as Robert Motherwell, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, Manuel Neri, Richard Serra, Judy Pfaff, Bernar Venet, Ann Hamilton, Jessica Stockholder, Zhang Xiaogang and Li Wei, along with influential mid-career artists and those new to the professional level. In Denver and throughout the art world, the gallery is known for its efforts to feature work by artists of integrity with vision and compelling ideas, while acknowledging the historical precedence of their creations.
Robischon Gallery has been producing exhibitions of regional, national and international artists since 1976. The gallery’s exhibitions and the artists represented thoughtfully address a wide range of stylistic and contextual mediums and messages, embracing the current pluralism in art. Ongoing dialogues in the art world such as the rise and impact of Chinese and Middle Eastern contemporary art can often be found in the gallery’s exhibitions, both on-site and in other venues they manage.
The gallery is located at 1740 Wazee Street and free parking is available for patrons. Visit www.robischongallery.com for more information.