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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.

Westword – 100 Colorado Creatives

Check out this month’s Denver Westword article on the Top ‘100 Colorado Creatives’ which features two Space Gallery artists: Taiko Chandler & Susan Oehme. Click on the links below to read the full articles on these amazing creatives. Their work is currently on view in our exhibition ‘INFORMED – Print as an Influence’ which runs through April 7th, stop by the gallery and see their work in person!

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.





Check out this great write-up about our exhibition Nature’s line in Westword!


Nature’s Line, the lyrical group show now at Space Gallery, is a worthy followup to the impressive Pattern, which was presented there earlier this summer. In Pattern, the theme was repeated imagery, as the title suggests. This time, the subject is the organic line, which is also conveyed in the title.

Both shows were organized by gallery director Michael Burnett, who brought together abstract artists — mostly painters — from inside and outside Colorado. And it’s important to point out that the artists in the current show aren’t abstracting flowers, plants or animals. Rather, they are using free-flowing lines and rounded shapes, which hint at natural things but do not ape them. Each artist has been given a separate section, so that each has a sort of mini-solo within the group.”


Read the whole write-up!




Check out this great write-up about our art work in Westword!

Space Gallery owner Michael Burnett believes that the impressive Pattern: Geometric / Organic, now on display at the gallery, is his best effort yet. I have to say, though, that I’ve been checking out exhibits at Space for years, and there have been many solid shows presented there. It’s true that Pattern is more ambitious than most; there’s even a handsome catalogue that accompanies it — and that’s something that almost never happens with a show at a commercial gallery like this one.”

Read the whole write-up!




Check out this great write-up about our new exhibition in Westword!


“It used to be that the art world in Denver took a breather in August, to mark the close of one season and allow galleries to gear up for the next one, which started after Labor Day — but that’s clearly not the case anymore. This month has seen a raft of great shows that have opened just as the schedule was supposed to be winding down. This week, I caught up with a quartet of exhibits that are linked by a shared interest among the participating artists in conveying forms and colors with minimal narrative or conceptual content.”


Read the whole write-up!

From Pre-fab to Fabulous


 Space Gallery Grand Opening


Check out this great write-up about our new Space in Westword!

Though Denver’s art world can trace its roots back to the late nineteenth century — the Denver Art Museum, for example, was founded in 1893 — it has only reached critical mass since the dawn of the 21st. The most obvious evidence of this was the construction of the DAM’s Hamilton Building and of MCA Denver’s new home in the mid-2000s; both were momentous events that raised the city’s art profile nationally and internationally.”

Read the whole write-up!