Specific Environments: The Landscape as Metaphor was conceived as the dynamism of visual forces, unearthing art that is actionable, and objects that ask the viewer to step away from the obvious and move toward the enigmatic, yet not arcane. The goal was to bring together artists whose works are not merely handmade copies of nature, but who use landscape, nature, and the land to enter into a discourse of contemporary issues of our time: environmental degradation, consumption, myth, memory, and perception, and the intersection of technology and terrain, both internal and external.
Just as the Impressionists broke with the Académie des Beaux-Arts and the 1913 Armory Show in New York brought the scandalous work of Brancusi, Matisse, Braque and Duchamp to America. The 1948 division in Denver showed that modernism had rooted itself in Colorado brought by John E. Thompson when he came to Colorado in 1914 with his Fauvist and Impressionistic style.
Reclamation speaks to the human need to overcome consumption, to subvert capitalistic messages and to focus on the still, quiet voice at the creative core.
Regan Rosburg is inspired by the humble network of life that proliferates on the forest floor, in the shade, beneath the canopy of trees that sore above, blocking out the precious sunlight. The artist collects objects and insects from the deciduous forest of Northeastern Tennessee where she lives on a small farm with her fiancé. Regan left her native Colorado for Tennessee a little more than a year ago. Sheʼs inspired by her surroundings and the sound of her rooster talking to his hens. These recent works created for “Understory” reflect how those changes in her life are influencing her creative work.
In a remote village in the Thar desert of Pakistan, the women are primarily Hindu in a Muslim country. Not only that, but they are from the bottom of the untouchable caste system. They have very few options in life for what they can do to earn a living. Most of the women are illiterate and are forbidden to travel without their husbands or a male relative. The men dye cotton and the women take that cotton and stitch together brightly patterned Ralli quilts. They embroider, appliqué, and adorn their creations with bits of mirror, sequins, shells and beads. The patterns are based on ancient textile traditions dating back thousands of years.
It was Doug Leen who created the Square Tower image for Mesa Verde National Park in 2006, a poster done in the WPA style, but an original Leen design. Leen visited Square Tower, which has been closed to guests since about 1940. Square Tower is the tallest Ancient Puebloan structure and what the park wanted to emulate on their poster.
Bernier intentionally did not affiliate with the early conceptual artists using text to make art, such as Ed Ruscha or Lawrence Weiner, or with Pop Art, for that matter. Bernier considers himself an original, unaffiliated with any movement or group. His work contains limited thematic content; one of the most striking elements of his practice is that he does not use words to make sense or to reference contemporary culture. “Initially I felt I had to break down the barriers of making sense by just listing words taken at random from the dictionary and putting them on canvas and board, sometimes by themselves, at other times with designed or familiar images in which the words were covered.”
Review of Margaret Neumann’s, “As I Once Knew It,” at Rule Gallery in Denver by Art Writer Leanne Goebel.
Art Writer Leanne Goebel reviews Dario Robleto’s ‘An Instinct Towards Life’ at MCA/Denver. The review was originally published on adobeairstream.com.