Momentum 2014

A groundbreaking new show by three of the west coast’s most renowned contemporary artists, Mars – 1, Damon Soule and Oliver Vernon-aka the Furtherrr Collective-whose works are mainstays of private collections and public spaces across the country.

A marriage of street art and psychedelic abstract, future-focused art, the show is, as gallerist Michael Burnett observes, “An unprecedented accomplishment; the pinnacle of 6 years of collaboration.”

Already on the must-see calendars of guests from across the country, Momentum features works in diverse media, including paint, bronze, pen and ink and collage, many in unconventional shapes designed to change perceptions of the use of space itself and the viewer’s relationship to it.

Most striking about the show is its centerpiece, a sweeping 9 by 22-foot canvas of a scope rarely found outside museums.

“This will be something really new that people haven’t experienced, on a scale they’ve never seen before,” said Parsons-trained artist Oliver Vernon.

“This is the biggest collaborative canvas of their careers,” show curator Brian Chambers added. “Every way you look at it, there’ll be something new to see and wonder at. No two people are going to experience the same thing-it’ll be a very different exploration for everybody.”

Working in both the fine art and street art traditions, the Furtherrr trio announced itself to Denver in late August with a massive streetside mural at the Cultivate store at 666 Buchtel. Not only was the huge, week-long production an introduction to the scale of the artists’ ideas, it was also an introduction to a way of working well-known to street art, but not to the gallery world: collaboration and improvisation.

Partners in collaboration since 2009, Mars-1, Soule and Vernon address their street and fine art projects with no advance sketching; no plan. Damon Soule described the process: “We let go of what we think the work should be. The lines blur between one and the other. Painting over someone else’s work, letting go, is part of the process. When you open up to other artists, you get to new places.”

“The fine art world hasn’t embraced collaborative art as a valid expression,” said Chambers, “maybe because no one has really done it like this before…no one has done it like this. Ever.”

And why Denver? “It’s not a coincidence that we’re doing this show here. This is one of the most progressive cities in the world. This art is right for right now, and Denver is the perfect place for it,” Chambers said. “We checked out a lot of the galleries in town; Space Gallery was hands down the right choice for the show.”

“This show will change the art scene in Denver,” said co-organizer (and Denver resident) Brady Alexander. “These guys are ahead of the curve. The work will open a lot of people’s eyes. Even for people who like contemporary art, this will be very different.”

Space Gallery director Michael Burnett summed it up simply: “This may be one of the most significant shows ever to hit the Santa Fe Arts District-and even the Denver gallery scene as a whole. We can’t wait for people’s reaction.”

Also exhibiting in the project room new works by Justin Lovato from his series entitled ‘Prima Materia’ created over the last six months.

Exhibition presented with Space Gallery, Denver 2014.

hannah dondero