If you liked the Denver Art Museum’s “Word Dance” exhibition (on view through August 6), we’ve got great news for you: The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) has just opened an overflow exhibition, of sorts, at its mountainside location.

BMoCA’s distinct show takes an entirely unique approach to showing works on paper from JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey’s collection (the same collection from which DAM’s linguistic “Word Dance” exhibition was curated). But unlike the Denver museum’s showing, “Walk the Distance and Slow Down” takes a more open—and cerebral—approach.

The BMoCA’s diverse grouping features drawings (loosely defined) by 29 international artists; all of whom create images on paper in disparate ways. While pieces may—or may not—make use of language, all offer rumination on the emotional, intellectual, and/or political condition of our time.

Take Alice Attie’s “Lies as They Gather Appear As Truths,” for example. What first appears at be a gray-ish circle with a hollow center is actually, upon closer inspection, the word “lies” written over, and over, rounding the circle’s blank center in meticulously detailed overlapping rings.

Simon Schubert’s “Treppenabgang + Spiegel + Tur” is a poster-sized white paper latticed by jutting lines that form concentric perpendicular intersections. Schubert created the abstract, architectural drawing with no more than the paper itself: He folded it precisely to leave a geometric drawing of subtle light and shadow, creating a faint but chaotic dreamscape.

The triumphant cap to the exhibition, housed in the stairwell and top-floor gallery, is Mauro Giaconi’s “cae a plomo (desde el fondo del tiempo).” The name of the exhibit, which is pictured above, translates to “falls to lead (from the depths of time).” The Argentinian artist’s drawings are part of Hickey’s collection but are not on display in DAM’s “Word Dance” curation. BMoCA chose to hang them in their showing, and commissioned a special installation by the artist. “cae a plomo” is composed with the remains of a graphite drawing Giaconi had created on a wall at Museo Universitario Del Chopo in Mexico City in 2016. The wall’s surface was chipped apart and transported from Mexico to Boulder, where Giaconi reassembled it in fragments pinned by oversized nails across the gallery walls. The finished product appears to be blasted across the museum’s top floor, sprayed blissfully over the walls and into the stairwell.

BMoCA curator Mardee Goff says the exhibition isn’t meant to be a political statement, per se, but “contemporary art does offer ways for people to explore our current world in different ways…It transcends the specific moment,” she says. “There are these psychological and social barriers that we put between each other, and what does that mean?”

If yo go: BMoCA’s “Walk the Distance and Slow Down” is on display through September 10. 1750 13th St., Boulder

Haley Gray
Haley Gray
Haley Gray is a Boulder-based freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in 5280, Roads and Kingdoms, Boulder Magazine, and the Albuquerque Journal.