"Sebastian's Harmony", a collaborative work by @contemporary_vision and Ron Hicks, appearing in Unfurl, our upcoming exhibition that looks into the private ideas of world-renowned artists, curated by @miabergeron. Opening on Friday! Both Ron and Michael will be at the opening (Mixed Media, 35x30")
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1801 California Space, Denver
September 12 - November 14, 2014
ArtHaus Gallery, Denver
September 5 - October 17, 2014
Michael Gadlin continues to deepen his mark at ArtHaus Gallery, as co-owner and artist- in his upcoming exhibit, “Raw Marks.”
MICHAEL PAGLIA | MARCH 13, 2019 | 6:46AM
Denver shows over the past few months have been dominated by artists using representational imagery, both conceptual and otherwise, including William Stockman, Yoshitomo Saito, Enrique Martínez Celaya and Jordan Casteel, as well as the many participants in Month of Photography exhibits. But now abstract is back, both conceptual and otherwise.
One illustration of this: Michael Gadlin: Shades of Significance, at K Contemporary. Michael Gadlin is a well-known Colorado painter who has a high-profile side gig as a host on Rocky Mountain PBS’s Arts District program. Though he spent some time in New York while attending the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, he’s mostly lived and worked in the Denver area.
His show at K was curated by gallery director Doug Kacena, who's installed everything to its best advantage in the handsome, ground-floor showroom. The secret to Kacena’s exhibition design success is that he gives individual works plenty of breathing room; in this case, you can really see what Gadlin is doing. Over the years, the artist has blended traditional ideas about painting with more contemporary ones, and his current style has something of a retro gloss. While there’s plenty of classic modernism in these pieces, which are similar in attitude to abstract surrealism from the mid-twentieth century, there's also a dash of Dada, along with a refined response to graffiti assembled to carry out the complex and layered compositions. Adding a subtle illusion of depth, Gadlin partly paints over found imagery from the collage elements that lie behind the grounds; on top, he inserts his own vaguely defined shapes and, often at the picture plane, outlines of plants, flowers, geometric shapes and vessels.
As I talked with artist Michael Gadlin in his studio in Blue Silo Studios north of Denver’s RINO district, a theme emerged: one of individuality, originality and risk-taking as an artist.
Gadlin’s late mentor, the sculptor Roland Bernier, would often repeat to him, “Michael, painting is dead. That’s why I don’t do it.” For many years, Gadlin thought this meant that he needed to quit painting and start making conceptual art. But over time, Gadlin realized this was not the case. “[Bernier] was wanting me to push– to push my painting. He wanted to challenge me beyond what was just throwing paint down from a design point of view onto canvas and hanging it up and being satisfied with decorating a wall. He was always challenging and pushing,” Gadlin explains. “You know everyone can get a tube and a paintbrush.”
The idea that “anyone” can be a painter seems to hold especially true currently. Any passing follow of artists on Instagram demonstrates a trendiness and similarity in the art being created and disseminated on social media. Artists see other artists’ works in their feeds and think that’s what they should be creating, but that doesn’t lend itself to individuality or trying new techniques and approaches to painting. Instead, it ends up being what Gadlin calls “the culture of sameness.” Thousands of artists creating similar versions of an abstract flower painting or landscape, indistinguishable from one another.
Gadlin, instead, is constantly seeking growth in his work, pushing himself to take risks, to try new things, to innovate his practice. To find his own voice amidst the Pinterest algorithms and newsfeeds that culminate in the “inundation of the same.”
At the one-year anniversary show, Young, Mattai and Zoots will all be featured. The other artists you can expect to see work from as well are Monique Crine, Michael Dowling, Trey Egan, Carlene Frances, Melissa Furness, Michael Gadlin, Robin Hextrum, Kuzana Ogg, Daisy Patton, Angel Ricardo Ricardo Rios, Karen Roehl, Jonathan Saiz, Kevin Sloan, Kristin Stransky, Nina Tichava, Goran Vejvoda and Sarah Winkler. And, although Kacena is a talented curator and gallerist, he is first and foremost an artist and will also be displaying work during the anniversary show.
KITCHEN TABLE TALKS - MICHAEL GADLIN: ART AS ACTIVISM @ MCA Denver
Kitchen Table brings together artists, activists, and scholars for conversations over dinner using the current exhibitions as a starting point for discussion. Dinners are free, reservations are required, and seating is extremely limited. Each pop-up dinner features a different host and a different theme. Tickets include admission to the museum, dinner, and non-alcoholic beverages. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase. The event begins with a walk through of the museum and continues with dinner in the cafe. Dinner menus are curated by James Beard Award-winning author and scholar Adrian Miller and presented by Two Sistahs Eats-n-Treats. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. Due to the intimate nature of the event, we are unable to accommodate dietary restrictions.
About This Piece
We visited Gadlin at his roomy studio in the RiNo district, where his huge paintings are as dreamlike as they are thought-provoking.
Photos by Paul Miller
I find influence fascinating. It can hurt you or work for you. You’ve got to be yourself in everything you do or else you run the risk of really saying nothing in your work. If you have your own ideas (your own way of seeing things), good discipline and sound technique, it’ll take you far.
That said, there’s always a challenge for a working artist - to be current, relevant and yet unique - this can be a good challenge, however not falling for trends that you have no passion for.
Comparisons are a natural act of involvement for the viewer. We can’t help it. We all compare things we see and experience based on prior knowledge. Isn’t that why we create art, because of influence or inspiration and of course the need to say something that we hope is important?
He's the latest in a long string of artists who have participated in the organization's goal of introducing low-income youngsters to the liberating influence of the fine arts by inviting artists from the community to serve as "creative residents."
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival tops almost everyone's list of things to do in Denver over the Fourth of July weekend. The award-winning fest, taking place this weekend on the streets of Cherry Creek North, has been hailed nationwide by artists and buyers alike, and it adds a luster to Denver's growing reputation as a happening place to be.
Though the festival's jury process was altered this year to allow for a more diverse assortment of art, only eight Colorado artists made the final 200-name roster, including newcomers pastelist Tony Ortega, blown-glass artist Linda Backus, painter Michael Gadlin and installation artist Brian Nelson.
In addition to the featured works, Havu has supplemented Landmark with sculptures by Jerry Wingren and a group of abstracts by Michael Gadlin.
Wingren, who lives in the mountains west of Boulder, is represented by sculptures displayed outside the front door and behind the gallery in the courtyard shared with the Grand Cherokee lofts as well as a group of small soapstone sculptures displayed on pedestals scattered through the show inside. The small sculptures depict houses and buildings, which is a kind of sight gag, since they're set among the landscape paintings. Taken together with Wingren's outdoor pieces, Havu is essentially presenting an ad hoc Wingren show alongside Landmark.
The Gadlins, which are great, are hanging upstairs. Though this Denver-based artist has shown several times around town during the last few years, these paintings mark his introduction at Havu.
Gadlin does collages and mixed-media paintings. The paintings are really well done, especially the large ones like the luxurious "Instructions on How to Move Mountains & Part the Sea," "Elements of Something Beautiful" and its companion, "Elements of Something Beautiful Outside." Stylistically, there's a retrospective character to Gadlin's paintings that is reminiscent of early-modernist abstractions.
Both Wingren's sculptures and Gadlin's paintings work beautifully with the Landmark show.