A Mercurial Fall Opening at the MCA Denver
Cool winds of fall have begun to course through the mile-high city bringing along the brilliant colors of autumn and new exhibitions opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
A mercurial garden party kicked off the celebration last weekend for the openings of Nathan Carter, Kim Dickey, and “Bodaciousss,” an exhibition sponsored in part by members of the Director’s Vision Society and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Nathan Carter presents a solo exhibition entitled “Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Dramastics.” The show is a culmination of three years work and one happy accident.
“I was supposed to have these four rooms upstairs. Had that happened it would’ve been a disaster because everything you see here would’ve been compartmentalized between those four rooms,” Carter said.
Instead the entirety of the exhibition is housed in one large space complete with a rock n’ roll stage photo booth. All of the work displayed is related to the making of a 27-minute-long film, “The Dramastics are Loud, AF.”
“It’s about four women who finish high school and explore their world through music,” Carter said “Band has nothing. Band tries hard. Band makes song. Band plays in front of live audience. Drugs, sex, boyfriends, girlfriends and then they break-up in Paris.”
The room is densely filled with colorful handmade drawings, miniature stage sets and installations imagined from the above mentioned stages of the band.
“What has always interested me about this project was this real playful clash between these elements of very formal art making and how that is in contention with this DIY element,” said Adam Lerner, Director of MCA Denver.
Lerner went on to detail how the “Bodaciousss” exhibition, displayed on the main level of the museum, draws out the themes in Carter’s exhibition and takes them into historical context. It presents over 20 artists whose works are changing the definition of art and the ways in which it is produced and consumed.
“This exhibition is giving the answer to what art is today — we show the complexity of those issues and how they go back and forth,” Lerner said.
“Bodaciousss” many artists present cultural and intellectual issues with childlike playfulness and a feeling of fun. It is reflected in the media which is often digital in nature and also subject matter that in some cases borders on ridiculous. According to Lerner all serve as a hallmark of the time and to stimulate critical thought about what “good” art may be defined as.
Upstairs you will find retrospective exhibition, Kim Dickey: Words are Leaves. It is the first show to survey all aspects of the Colorado based artist, as curated by Nora Burnett-Abrams. Abrams explained that the exhibition is about “the tension between objects that support the body and then the body as an object.”
Dickey spent 30 years studying pattern and investigating landscape design and the history of the garden in addition to some exploring in psychological landscapes, like hell. Upon entering her retrospective a film plays. The show is arranged in chronological order from room to hall to room and designed with a particular affect in mind.
“Each introduce key ideas about what are the boundaries of an object and what does an object contain,” said Abrams “We really wanted visitors to have a sense that they are walking through a garden. That you are meandering through the exhibition like you’d meander through a landscape.”
According to Abrams, Dickey’s presentation of works challenge the Minimalism of the 60’s when any value to the surface of an object was discarded, “privileging the surface instead of the object.” Dickey plays with the idea of how to reinfect into the language of monumentalism and high art, emotion.
“It’s art translated into garden patterns, collapsing notions of love into geometric shapes of the garden. These incredibly baroque romantic landscapes, seen through the lens of high modernism,” Dickey said.
All three exhibitions will be on display at MCA Denver through January 2017. For more specific information on each of the exhibitions, the artists or the museum please visit www.mcadenver.org.