Meet the Passionate Proprietor behind K Contemporary Gallery
KERRIE LEE BROWN, February 16, 2023
“For me, the gallery is an extension of myself. I look at the building it’s in, built in the 1880s, as a church. The artwork is a form of prayer. I’m the crazy monk that lives upstairs. I’m stewarding this artwork, the artists and the aesthetics. The way we present it is an extension of myself."
Intersect Palm Springs Returns to the Convention Center
Palm Springs Life
ALEX GALBRAITH, February 8, 2023
Intersect Palm Springs art fair takes over the Palm Springs Convention Center Feb. 9–12, exhibiting art from 50 galleries from near and far and offering a robust schedule of talks, tours, and other programs.
K Contemporary artist Kristopher Wright's work Summer Cyprus was highlighted among others.
Work in Progress with Mario Zoots
JOSHUA WARE, January 17, 2023
Denver artist Mario Zoots has explored the medium of collage for nearly fifteen years, and pushed against the genre’s boundaries and expectations.
Hundreds of aged covers torn from hardbound books radiate from the corner of Mario Zoot's studio, tapering inward as they extend across both the north- and east-facing walls. On the inside of each cover, which face out toward the viewer, the artist has painted a unique, abstract shape in black. This work in progress—titled The Broken Narrative—will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in February 2023 as part of a fifteen-year retrospective show for RedLine Contemporary Art Center. For now, though, Zoots continues producing more cover-based components, adding to the wall-hung assemblage in his Tank studio while tinkering with the overall form of the piece.
K Contemporary Exhibition
Sets Tone for 2023
The Denver Post
STEPHANI GATES, February 9 2023
If one is to believe social media, 2023 is to be the year the people of the world surge out of their post-pandemic slump and rise up against all odds. But where are they going, and more importantly, how do they get there?
Doug Kacena, the owner and visionary behind Denver’s most influential contemporary art gallery, K Contemporary, uses his newest exhibition As of Now to answer that question.
Daisy Patton Exhibit Explores Ties That Bind
The Denver Post
STEPHANIE GATES, December 22, 2022
Her current exhibition, Like Two Drops of Water/Like Oil and Vinegar, is currently on display at K Contemporary and is her first show dealing exclusively with family portraiture.
“I’m not the only person to have a fractured family,” Daisy said. “The family as a nuclear unit is not the reality for a lot of people. In this show of family portraits, I want to make space for all the ways a family presents itself.”
Viktor Freso’s Family Album
STEPHANI GATES, September 12, 2022
“Once upon a time in Slovakia there was my family,” Viktor Freso begins. It seems like a perfect place to start: The beginning. And what better thing to do at any beginning than to discover oneself?
This is exactly what artist Viktor Freso does in his newest exhibition at K Contemporary, on display through Oct. 15. It is the ultimate self-portrait as Freso uses himself to celebrate and explore his relationship with his family.
Artnet Gallery Network Puts Andrew Jensdotter in the Spotlight
Artnet Gallery Network, August 30, 2022
The American artist Andrew Jensdotter creates his works through a rigorous and time-consuming process. in which he paints and then overpaints the results for a single prompt in Google Image Search, all on top of one another.
In his final step, he carves through these images to reveal a final, composite image that is almost archaeological in appearance.
7 Highlights from the 2022 Intersect Aspen Art Fair
PAUL LASTER, Aug 4, 2022
Works by Picasso, Carmen Herrera, and Derrick Adams are just a few of the standouts from the event’s second edition
Suchitra Matai, on the other hand, is a maximalist who constructs colorful assemblages from found objects. Her wall works in a two-person presentation at Denver’s K Contemporary include painterly assemblages with dollhouse furniture, fabric, and hair rollers and the painting-like An Avid Reader, an embroidered, faux-flower, fabric collage on jute that joyfully celebrates an award-winning youth.
Spotlight: Ken Gun Min’s Fantastical Artworks Bring Together a Whirlwind of Imagery
The artist's solo exhibition, “Wounded Man, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World,” opens at Denver's K Contemporary this month.
Artnet News, March 8, 2022
Why We Like It: Min’s exhibition name is a slight modification of Haruki Murakami’s famed novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. The allusion is apt—like many of Murakami’s disoriented protagonists navigating strange worlds, Min’s experience as an artist is one spent shifting and navigating different cultural realities. Min’s works seek, like Murakami’s book, to transcend the temporal and spatial boundaries we inhabit, and, in doing so, allows different images to co-exist and collide.
Denver's Arts Champion: Doug Kacena is changing the way art galleries operate in Denver
Denver Post, Feb 14, 2022, Ray Rinaldi
K Contemporary is Denver’s most exciting commercial art gallery right now. In just five fast years, owner Doug Kacena — obviously, that’s where the “K” comes from — has assembled a roster of the city’s most adventurous art-makers and produced a slew of memorable, and completely free, exhibitions.
As K’s reputation has grown, so have the artists it represents, among them Denver-connected stars such Suchitra Mattai, Daisy Patton, Jonathan Saiz, Andrew Jensdotter and Melissa Furness.
More than that, Kacena has figured out how to make a gallery a good citizen in its community, partnering with multiple nonprofits and taking art out of K’s downtown gallery and into the streets....
A Tale of Two Countries: Finding Indo-Caribbean Shakti in Colorado
Sadaf Padder, Hyperallergic, Jan. 25, 2021
Featuring: Suchitra Mattai
"As a child in Trinidad, Renluka Maharaj dreamed of acting. Meanwhile, about 400 miles away, in Guyana, Suchitra Mattai was beginning to draw. Now, the women live just half an hour from each other in Colorado, two of the few Indo-Caribbean female artists in the region. They sustain full-time mixed media arts practices that excavate their personal and not-so-sweet shared histories — which start with sugar."
The 10 Best Booths at Untitled Art Miami Beach
Salomé Gómez-Upegui, Artsy.Net, 2021
"To celebrate its 10th edition, this year, Untitled Art expanded its curatorial platform by inviting four guest curators—Natasha Becker, Miguel A. López, Estrellita Brodsky, and José Falconi—who all contributed in creating a diverse and global conversation about contemporary art. Below are 10 exceptional booths from Untitled Art Miami Beach’s 2021 edition."
Looking for the Next Big Thing? Here Are 6 Exciting Artists to Watch From Miami Art Week 2021
Featuring Suchitra Mattai
Artnet News, 2021
"After hitting the pavement at Art Basel Miami Beach, NADA Miami, Untitled, and more during Miami Art Week, the Artnet News Pro team emerged with a lot of images on our camera rolls. More importantly, we left with a few names that, after a close look and conversations with dealers, advisors, and collectors, we believe are poised to reach the next stage of their careers after a promising outing in Miami. Allow us to introduce—or, in the case of the first artist on this list, re-introduce—you below."
For artist Jonathan Saiz, things are looking up
Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, 2021
"A successful art career requires two crucial skills: the ability to think up new things and the drive to make them real. It’s not about creativity; lots of people have that. It’s more about owning the capacity to see ideas through to the end — to produce fresh objects, over and over again, and then to present them to the public. That stamina sustains Jonathan Saiz and keeps him in the top-tier of Denver artists."
Excess at its best: LoDo’s K Contemporary gallery gives “bunny artist” Hunt Slonem the big show he deserves
Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, 2021
"For his first solo exhibition in Denver, K Contemporary Gallery matches that bigness by placing his work in an opulent, over-the-top setting that resembles an elegant salon. There are more than 300 Slonem objects in the show, titled “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and they are surrounded by luxe furnishings — candelabras, chandeliers, gilded mirrors, fancy rugs — making for an immersive art experience not often seen in commercial galleries."
Hunt Slonem’s First Solo Exhibition in Denver Is the Ultimate Antidote to Pandemic Austerity
Christine Deorio, 5280 Magazine, 2021"Imagine swarms of art,” says gallery owner Doug Kacena, who is co-curating the lavish exhibition with Denver-based artist Jonathan Saiz. “It’s going to be a temple to abundance.'Together, the duo will transform both floors of the 5,000-square-foot gallery, using antique and vintage furnishings and rugs from Eron Johnson Antiques and Shaver-Ramsey, as well as lighting, paint, and mirrors to capture Slonem’s maximalist aesthetic in fantastical, colorful realms. “Hunt is magic,” Kacena says. “The only way I can describe him is like if Bacchus had a baby with a séance. That would be Hunt.”
Inside a Gallerist’s Art-Filled LoDo Loft
Angela Ufheil, 5280 Home, 2021Doug Kacena likes to say that the 1880s brick building housing his LoDo art gallery, K Contemporary, is a kind of church. “All the artwork are prayers, and I’m the monk who lives in the back,” he says. Sunlight spilling through the trio of skylights in Kacena’s quarters—on the second floor of the gallery space—casts a heavenly glow on his personal art collection, which includes this kaleidoscopic, abstract oil and mixed-media painting by South Korean artist Ken Gun Min.
The Beauty of Art with Doug Kacena, Founder of K Contemporary Gallery
Annie Bloj, Cherry Creek Fashion, 2021
"Doug Kacena, the owner of the highly-regarded gallery in downtown Denver, K Contemporary, is an icon in Denver. Known for being a champion of arts and culture locally and internationally, he brings decades of experience and generosity of spirit to everything he does."
Trends to Watch in 2021: Craft Figuration
Featuring Suchitra Mattai
Artsy.Net, Jacqui Palumbo, 2021
"What is history and what is myth? In former colonies, where the accounts of exploited laborers are often sparse and entire cultures were mined for profit, the boundaries can be unclear. Suchitra Mattai questions colonial histories and traverses personal memory through her mixed-media installations and suspended works. She often incorporates the bold patterns and colors of vintage saris, along with other objects of cultural significance."
The Best Home Shops and Design Services in Denver Right Now | BEst art Gallery 2020-2021
Christine Deorio, Hilary Masel Oswald, Michelle Johnson, 5280 Magazine, 2020
"K Contemporary’s reaction to the trials of the past year is a shining example of constraint breeding creativity. Forced to temporarily shutter in March, the cutting-edge LoDo gallery took to the streets with the #ArtFindsUs project—a roving exhibition that displayed larger-than-life artworks on a billboard truck—and a live performance by acclaimed artist Carlos Martiel that was projected onto the 16th Street Mall clocktower."
From Babe Walls to Detour, Colorado’s biggest and boldest art moments of 2020 | 8 nimble efforts that helped creatives through a difficult time
Ray Mark Rinaldi, Denver Post, 2020
"Like most indoor spaces, his K Contemporary gallery in LoDo was off-limits to customers last spring, severing the connection between his artists and the community. Kacena’s response: bring the art to the streets. So he rented a giant billboard truck and turned works by two of his most popular painters into larger-than-life posters that he drove up and down the main thoroughfares of Denver and Boulder in April and May."
The Ten Biggest Arts and Culture Stories of 2020
Kyle Harris, Westword, 2020
"While staging traditional shows was tough in 2020, artists found plenty of ways to keep busy. K Contemporary and the Athena Project organized Art Finds Us, a series of traveling galleries and performances showcasing some of the area’s best painters, arts organizations and musical groups."
6 Artists Who’ve Made the Human Form Cool Again
Ann Landi, Introspective Magazine, 2020
"Daisy Patton's cheerfully dysfunctional portraits are bound to remind you of pictures from somebody’s attic, those old crinkle-edged Kodak photos or studio shots that commemorate engagements, high-school graduations and informal family get-togethers. Yet there are sharp and unsettling differences. Faces may be obliterated with garish masks of color, outrageous patterns take over sedate everyday attire and creeping vegetation threatens to engulf the unsuspecting subjects."
Leilani Lynch’s Top Picks | Miami Beach 2020
Featuring Suchitra Mattai
Leilani Lynch, Untitled Art, 2020
"Combining elements across time and geographies into her work, Suchitra Mattai creates rich visual dialogues that investigate the re/telling of periods of colonial history and forced migration in connection with personal stories from this artist’s Indo-Caribbean family. In Alter Ego (2020), Mattai combines found materials with applique and intricate painting to render visible the often disparate, yet intertwined cultures and histories she investigates. There’s so much depth in the details of this work."
100 Standout Works from Miami Art Fairs
Featuring: Suchitra Mattai, Ken Gun Min, Daisy Patton, and Andrew Jensdotter
Creative Industries Are Hurting After Six Months of COVID-19 in Colorado
Kyle Harris, Westword, September 1, 2020
"Kacena's study of stoicism has helped him navigate the shutdown and stay productive. Like many creative entrepreneurs, he's used this period to invest in fresh ways of exhibiting work, from projecting gallery performances on buildings around the city to showcasing paintings on the billboard trucks that strip clubs so often use to advertise.Shifting with the times has also protected Kacena's space from extinction. "The obstacle is the way," he says. "It's been helpful thinking of that."
Cuban Performance Artist Carlos Martiel Brings His Powerful Art Back to Denver
Barbara Urzua, 303 Magazine, 2020
"Carlos Martiel is a Cuban performance artist whose work is charged with criticisms of society. The internationally acclaimed artist has had shows around the world — yet is now returning to Denver for an exhibition at K Contemporary. The exhibition — titled Black Bodies – White Lies — is meant to bring attention to how the United States’ social and legal systems have failed Black communities and ethnic minorities for so long."
State of the Art 2020 Update: Crystal Bridges Acquires Artworks and a New VR Experience
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 2020
"Suchitra Mattai weaves vintage Indian saris from her own family with saris from the United Arab Emirates and India. For Mattai, Exodus “connects diasporic communities of South Asians across the globe, giving voice to generations of women while also probing questions of displacement resulting from European colonization. Focusing on this period is both a means of tracing my family’s history in Guyana and of fostering discussion around contemporary issues surrounding labor and gender.”
Doug Kacena Is Ready to Take Art in New Directions
Patricia Calhoun, Westword, 2020
"With stay-at-home orders lifted and the state now officially in the safer-at-home stage, art galleries are starting to reopen, moving shows from virtual displays back to the walls.
But Doug Kacena, owner of K Contemporary, is not ready to return to business as almost-usual except with masks and social-distancing rules. In late April, he created #ArtFindsUs and took art to the streets, fitting a billboard truck with works by two of the artists in his stable — giant reproductions of pieces by Shawn Huckins and Daisy Patton — and touring them around town."
Artist Suchitra Mattai’s latest exhibit takes a hard look at a difficult year, and envisions a path forward
Ray Mark Rinaldi, Denver Post, 2020"Suchitra Mattai is having a well-deserved moment. The prolific Denver artist is fresh off two career-making appearances in internationally-watched exhibitions and, right now, she’s the focus of a one-person show at Lower Downtown’s K Contemporary gallery. Mattai’s art has a striking visual appeal, tapping recycled materials inspired by her family’s history of continent-crossing migration, which stretches from India to Guyana to the United States. She combines colorful saris, rugs, fabrics, furniture, feathers and prints into layered works that are finished off by her own hand through embroidery, crochet and, of course, paint."
From “Northside” to Monet, Denver’s biggest arts and culture moments of 2019|The new top dog: K Contemporary
Featuring: Doug Kacena, Suchitra Mattai, and Jonathan Saiz
John Weznel, Denver Post, 2019
"In two short years, gallerist Doug Kacena has realigned the artist hierarchy in Denver, assembling a stable of painters and makers who have delivered consistently solid exhibitions while sparking their own commercial careers. Among them: Daisy Patton, Melissa Furness, Michael Gadlin, Suchitra Mattai and Mario Zoots."
Give Thanks for Noteworthy Art Shows at Three Denver Galleries
Featuring: Trey Egan
Michael Paglia, Westword, 2019
LoDo's K Contemporary is part of a consortium of galleries that includes Abend Gallery and Gallery 1261, and switches off slaces depending on the exhibit. Right now, Abend is hosting the 29th Annual Holiday Miniatures Show in the large spaces on the first floor, while K Contemporary is currently occupying the second floor, where director Doug Kacena has installed the impressive solo Trey Egan: Visible Layers. In just a few years, K Contemporary has built a reputation as one of the city’s top galleries. Read More
Melissa Furness Featured in
the Denver Westword
"Furness loots the high-water marks of Old Master painting... to source the images she re-contextualizes in her paintings-cum-structures, taking similar subjects from different works and bringing them together in new ways"
-Michael Paglia, Denver Westword, September 2019
Suchitra Mattai Featured in Hyperallergic
"The effect is reminiscent of carefully kept, though fantastical, travel diaries or scrapbooks — or perhaps of the coded documentation of someone who wants to be heard, but cannot speak aloud."
-April Greene, Hyperallergic, June 2019
Untitled (Family Portrait on Rocks)
becomes cover of Aoko Matsuda's newest book "Let Me Be a Shrew"
K Contemporary Artists shake up Colorado Governor's Mansion in dynamic One Night Show
" They... transform the space into an art gallery unlike most others — a fusion of old and new."
-Cori Anderson, 303 Magazine, June 2019
Jonathan Saiz "Colorado Coastal" Featured in the Denver Westword
"...this dystopian view is appropriately messy."
-Michael Paglia, Denver Westword, June 2019
Jonathan Saiz Featured in the Denver Post: 10,000 Paintings
"Massive and micro. Warm and cool. Deeply spiritual, yet loaded up with bling, bling, bling."
-Ray Rinaldi, The Denver Post, June 2019
Mario Zoots Featured in the Denver Post
" His skill is to juxtapose things just so — pulling in viewers’ attention and inviting them to solve riddles about why this goes next to this, or that overlaps that. "
- Ray Rinaldi,The Denver Post, May 2019
Imperfect Isometry (2019)
(2019) Featured in
"Nothing is off limits for Denver artist Suchitra Mattai. "
- Colorado Public Radio, February 2019 Read More
K Contemporary Featured in the Denver Post
"Inone quick year, Doug Kacena has turned Denver’s commercial art scene on its head, upending many of the current, common assumptions about where for-profit galleries are headed in the 21st century.
His new K Contemporary gallery downtown is thriving after just 12 months in business, and along the way it is revitalizing the careers of local artists and giving the city a fresh place to see, and shop for, some of the most interesting new art around."
- Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, December 20, 2018
K Contemporary Featured in 303 Magazine
Cori Anderson, 303 Magazine, Dec. 2018
"With the talented list of artists and the rapidly growing esteem of K Contemporary, this quick exhibition might be the best one to end 2018 on. After all, it was a big year in art for Denver and many of these artists will be at the forefront of contemporary art in the near future."
Review: K Contemporary, Daisy Patton, "A Rewilded Arcadia"
Michael Paglia, Westword, Oct. 2018
"Doug Kacena’s upstart K Contemporary, which occupies a Victorian storefront in LoDo, has cut a swath through the art scene by presenting museum-level shows with some of the region’s most interesting artists. The current exhibit, Daisy Patton: A Rewilded Arcadia, is extremely ambitious, and many of the works are so enormous, it looks like it could be in a museum. In fact, Daisy Patton is also the star of This Is Not Goodbye, now at the University of Colorado Art Museum, a show she sees as a companion to the one at K Contemporary..."
Kevin Sloan featured at the California Museum of Art Thousand Oats.
"Kevin’s allegorical realism occupies a fascinating territory where the human and natural worlds collide. The interchanges that occur give rise to relationships that spark immediate recognition while the enigmatic meaning lingers in the observer’s mind. Conversations are opened about how we interact with nature and the implications of our technological advancements on the environment we share with the rest of the animal kingdom."A Collection of Rarities" is on view November 8, 2018 through February 17, 2019 in CMATO’s main gallery."
Suchitra Mattai Included in the 2019 Sharjah Biennial
"The Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) has released the list of nearly ninety emerging and established artist participating in the fourteenth edition of Sharjah Biennial, which will take place from March 7 to June 10, 2019. Titled “Leaving the Echo Chamber,” the biennial will consist of three exhibitions curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons that will explore the possibilities and the purpose of producing art when history is increasingly fictionalized, when borders and beliefs are under constant negotiation, and material culture is under threat from human destruction."
Review: Suchitra Mattai Explores Her Heritage in CVA's Sugar Bound
Michael Paglia, Westword, Sept 12, 2018
"She uses the clash, conflation and compression of these components of her personal history to set up the content of her conceptual pieces, which touch on everything from European imperialism to the exploitation of colonized people and the travails of the immigrant experience. Mattai also includes collapsing time in the mix, as Cullen notes. The concerns she raises based on nineteenth-century narratives are extremely relevant today, given what’s been happening at our southern border, where brown-skinned asylum seekers are denied entry to this country and, worse, separated from their children."
Reanimating Women from Found Photographs
Kealey Boyd, Hyperallergic, Jul 27th
From images of funerals to portraits of women who underwent forced sterilization, Daisy Patton’s works allow “the person to come back from death for a moment.”
K Contemporary Named “Best New Art Gallery”
Denver’s Westword Magazine names K Contemprary as the “Best New Gallery” in Denver for the 2018 Best of Denver Awards. “K Contemporary has been hosting some of the hottest shows in town. Artist Doug Kacena is the force behind the new space, and with K Contemporary, he’s shown himself to be an able curator who’s already assembled a formidable stable of high-profile Colorado artists, including Monique Crine, Michael Dowling, Kevin Sloan, Suchitra Mattai, Karen Roehl, Scott Young and Mario Zoots.”
Kevin Sloan “The Wanderers Garden” in American Art Collector
Kevin Sloan‘s recent exhibition “The Wanderer’s Garden” was featured in the March 2018 edition ofAmerican Art Collector“Kevin Sloan’s paintings have been witty, entertaining and flawlessly executed”
Suchitra Mattai Selected for MCA Denver “Octopus Initiative”
25 original works from Suchitra Mattai were recently purchased by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Have you ever looked at a work of contemporary art in a museum and wanted to bring it home? Well, now’s your chance. MCA Denver’s Octopus Initiative is offering any resident of the Denver metro area the chance to borrow and live with a work of art for ten months.
Doug Kacena Featured in Art Ltd
Doug Kacena‘s recent ground-breaking exhibition “Crossover” is featured in the March/April 2017 edition ofArt Ltd, reviewed by Michael Paglia.
“Denver-based abstract painter Doug Kacena noticed that there was a disconnection in the art scene, not just here in Colorado, but nationally. This clearly defined gap has artists working in contemporary styles—like him—on one side of it, and those whose efforts lie in the traditional realist realm on the other. So Kacena conceived of the exhibition “Crossover,” with the idea of bridging the distance between the two through radical interventions. Kacena selected some of the most significant representational painters active in the region and asked each to give him one of their pieces so that he could paint over it. Simultaneously he gave each of them one of his, so that they could paint over it.”
“Daisy Patton,” Create! Magazine, Issue 3, Spring 2017, Cover Page
“From Los Angeles, California, Daisy Patton moved back and forth between Oklahoma and California during her childhood. She spent much of her early years reading adventure and detective tales, history and art history books, and ghost stories. Patton’s practice is focused on history, memory, and social commentary stemming from this youth soaked in such specific cultural landscapes. Her work explores the meaning and social conventions of families, little discussed or hidden histories, and what it is to be a person living in our contemporary world. One such series is “Forgetting is so long,” reviewed in “Art LTD” and “Hyperallergic,” as well as featured in “The Jealous Curator,” “Fresh Paint Magazine,” “Backroom Caracas,” and “Artistic Moods.”