Daily Archives: July 20, 2018

Denver Westword Art Review: ‘The Future is Liquid’

Review: Color Brightens New Shows 

Michael Paglia  I  July 18th, 2018  I  5:59AM

“…Color and form are also the keystones of The Future Is Liquid, a gorgeous group show at Space Gallery with nary a mountain or anything else recognizable, not even if you squint.

The show starts off with large abstractions by Michael Hedges, with thick bars of paint applied in single strokes by a wide brush loaded with some kind of bright color. Hedges, a Chicago artist, has written that his process involves “great bursts of energy,” and you can see that quality in the paintings, which include a dizzying number of individual marks that have been piled on top of one another, filling the canvas to all four edges. All of the Hedges pieces resonate closely with one another and are intimately interrelated in both their shared palette and their similar composition. This consistency can be partly explained by the fact that Hedges normally works on ten or more paintings at once, presumably applying one color to all the canvases, then another color to all of them, and on and on. No matter how he makes them, though, the results are gorgeous.

Space is so roomy that even though Hedges is given only the entry galleries, his many paintings in The Future Is Liquid would constitute a full-blown solo just about anywhere else in town. Monroe Hodder’s many paintings and works on paper could serve as another solo — but it would be the size of a museum show. Hodder maintained a home and studio in Steamboat Springs for many years and is well known in Denver, where she’s shown her work around town. Although she relocated to New York a few years ago, she’s maintained a local presence through exhibits such as this. Ten years ago, a signature Hodder would have been a stack of horizontal bars that were thickly and heavily painted and then overpainted. A few years ago, she broke with this strict formality and began exploring other directions. Her latest turn is using spattered screens of color floating over heavily worked and multi-colored fields, and the paintings are dazzling. In addition to these large pieces, she’s contributed a grid of 49 works on paper with a separate, single painterly gesture on each that lay out the vocabulary of marks that she’s used on the paintings.

Scattered throughout the galleries are simple linear sculptures by Oregon’s Miguel Edwards. The three-dimensional scribbles are made of welded steel bars, but despite this heavy material, the resulting works have a lightness dominated by open space within the sculptures. Each has been finished in a striking monochrome color such as red, orange or blue. Sort of a cross between a geometric aesthetic and an expressionist one, the Edwards sculptures work beautifully with the Hedges and Hodder paintings. 

In the heat of July, these colorful exhibits are the aesthetic equivalents of summer carnivals for the eye.

The Future Is Liquid, through August 4, Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, 303-993-3321.

Abstract Gallery Expanding Santa Fe District Footprint

Abstract gallery expanding Santa Fe Art District footprint
By Kate Tracy April 18, 2018

A Scottish artist is bringing abstract art to a concrete-and-brick warehouse in the Santa Fe Art District.

Michael Burnett, owner of the Space Gallery at 400 Sante Fe Drive, has purchased a 4,300-square-foot building at 95 S. Cherokee St. to grow his gallery featuring abstract artists.

“When I moved here originally from Scotland, I just loved the transformation of spaces in general and fixing things up, creating something that’s new and your own,” Burnett said. “It’s partly that, and partly an opportunity to give the artists that we currently represent a space to show year-round.”

The Space Gallery has 60 artists, but only room to rotate through about 20 artists exhibiting in its current 8,000-square-foot space.

“We just want to be able to keep them in the spotlight all the time,” Burnett said. “If they’re not showing in our current exhibit, it’s just nice to be able to have a place where we can represent their work.”

Burnett purchased the Cherokee Street property for $1 million in February, with a $999,000 SBA loan. He’s adding a rooftop deck.

“We wanted to expose all the beautiful original character of the building,” he said. “We’re not doing a whole lot to it, just getting back to the meat of the building.”

Burnett, 42, grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and studied painting and drawing at the Edinburgh College of Art. He came to Colorado for skiing in 1999, then met his wife and moved in 2001, the same year he opened his first gallery at 2026 Larimer St. in LoDo.

“When I opened the gallery, it was really a place to show my own work and a studio,” Burnett said. “Over time, people would come in and asked to show their work. It grew from there.”

Burnett collects half the sale price of art sold at the Space Gallery. The gallery also functions as an event space for weddings, fundraisers and other gatherings. Burnett did not disclose revenue from 2017, but said the business is profitable. The Space Gallery employs two people currently, but he said he plans to hire more once the new gallery opens.