Fall Arts Preview
This season's must-see lineup of music, film, theater, dance, and fine art in the Mile-High City.
He's been called one of "the most successful artists of our times" and one of just three "brand name" artists—along with giants Picasso and Warhol. And whether or not a life-size human skull made of platinum and diamonds is your idea of high art, there's no debating Hirst's contribution to the contemporary art world. His "Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain," an arrow-pierced steer locked in a formaldehyde-filled tank, which will be on exhibit this fall for the first time at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, is a thoughtful and brutally graphic nod to the Christian saint's martyrdom and Christian iconography. "Incorruptible Crown" (butterflies under glass), which will also be part of the show, is equally bizarre and remarkable. Oct. 7-Aug. 30, 2009, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany St., 303-298-7554, www.mcadenver.org
Houdon from the Louvre
The invention of the Internet may be up there on the list of all-time great ideas, but even Al Gore couldn't have kept up with the great thinkers of the 18th century. Men such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin birthed radical ideas that have rarely been matched since. If you'd like to ruminate on your next big idea among the greats, check out French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon's marble busts next month at the Denver Art Museum. Oct. 11-Jan. 4, Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org
Many artists claim fame only after their deaths—but not Jules Feiffer. His inky illustrations, gorgeous in their simplicity, have graced American coffee tables far too often for him to remain in artistic anonymity. His Village Voice comic strip, which ran for 42 years, claimed a Pulitzer Prize; his play Little Murders won an OBIE (Off-Broadway Theater Award); and his animated short Munro received an Academy Award. Of course, Feiffer is best known for his good-humored, pencil-outline-style drawings in the New Yorker and Rolling Stone, as well as for his children's book illustrations. This fall, Feiffer fans can move him from the coffee table to the wall with a purchase of a vintage or contemporary print from Denver's Michele Mosko Fine Art. Feiffer will hold a reception on Friday, Sept. 19. Exhibit runs through Nov. 2, Michele Mosko Fine Art, 136 W. 12th Ave., 303-534-5433, www.michelemoskofineart.com
This fall two Denver galleries investigate the vibrant relationship between poetry and art, one from the past and one from the present.
Then In Plain Sight: Street Works and Performances, 1966-1971
Wandering down the streets of New York in 1969, you may have encountered writer Eduardo Costa translating the advertisements gracing 14th Street into flamboyant Spanish. Or perhaps you would have caught poet Bernadette Mayer dusting 65th Street with blue powder. Either way, New York's new version of performance poetry—dubbed Street Works—would have confronted you right in the streets. Eventually the Street Works became so elaborate that poets performed in bookstores, gymnasiums, and even the Whitney Museum of American Art. "In Plain Sight" brings to Colorado the surviving costumes, props, video, and audio of Street Works. Sept. 24-Jan. 4, The Lab at Belmar, 404 S. Upham St., Lakewood, 303-934-1777, www.belmarlab.org
A quirky mixed-media show that pairs poems by Oregon-based writer Drew Myron with abstract paintings by Denver painter and RiNo founder Tracy Weil, "Forecast" playfully examines the horoscope. Myron's poems, each about a specific sign, inspired Weil's brilliantly colored and lighthearted abstract paintings. Sept. 26-Nov. 15, Weilworks, 3611 Chestnut Place, 303-308-9345, www.weilworks.com
If local artist Ethan Jantzer were to write a recipe for his piece "Charms," it might call for wild botanicals, a bottle each of Windex and Gatorade, a dark room, and a flash. Mix, develop, and voilÀ, a photogram—an image captured by flashing light through a colored liquid onto a square of photo paper. Jantzer's multihued, crisp images will be featured in Process, a collection of works from Colorado artists employing unusual techniques. Sept. 5-30, Art & Soul Gallery, 1615 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-544-5803, www.artandsoulboulder.com
Daniel Richter: A Major Survey The first major U.S. exhibit by this contemporary German artist displays his abstract, large-format oil paintings, which embrace mass media and popular culture. Oct. 4-Jan. 11, Denver Art Museum, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org
In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein A collection of oil paintings, many with Southwestern themes that reflect Blumenschein's work as a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists. Nov. 8-Feb. 8, Denver Art Museum, 720-865-5000, www.denverartmuseum.org
Paul Soldner When this Aspen-based artist used a wood-burning kiln to make abstract clay sculptures in the 1970s, he broke all the rules of ceramics and shaped the future of the genre. Sept. 5-Oct. 11, Sandra Phillips Gallery, 744 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-5969, www.thesandraphillipsgallery.com
Frank O'Neill and Jonathan Hils This joint exhibition of a photo-realist painter and an accomplished steel sculptor juxtaposes realism with abstract works. Nov. 7-Jan. 3, Walker Fine Art, 300 W. 11th Ave., 303-355-8955, www.walkerfineart.com