‘HIGH + LOW: D. Dominick Lombardi Retrospective’ on exhibit at Ent Center

Ellie Myers 

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     If you have taken a walk through the Ent Center lately, a series of newspaper clippings on the wall next to the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art may have caught your eye.  

     Tucked within the gallery itself is the colorful multimedia fusion of “highbrow” and “lowbrow” artistic styles that artist and author D. Dominick Lombardi used in his exhibition, “HIGH + LOW: D. Dominick Lombardi Retrospective.” 
     The exhibition takes viewers on a journey through 45 years of Lombardi’s artistic life, including 20 different chapters of his art that he created using a mix of distinct artistic styles and media.  

     According to Gallery of Contemporary Art Director Daisy McGowan, this display is a unique one for the university to host. “At GOCA, we often show local, regional artists. In this show, it’s fun to bring in a national artist, someone from outside [Colorado],” she said.  

     McGowan values the teachable nature of one artist’s journey. “When our students are here, they are emerging artists,” she said. “For [them] to see how an artist grows and changes over time can be quite fascinating.” 

Entrance to the GOCA Gallery in the Ent Center.
Photo by Lexi Petri.

     Lombardi describes the core of his work as combining the high/low approach, citing such contrasting artistic influences such as Picasso and the counterculture Zap! Comix of the 1960s. Some of these series would be considered more classical and formal, such as his “From Photographs” series, while others, including his “Post-Apocalyptic Tattoos,” have a pop cultural, informal style.  

     He also uses his imaginative touch to express his feelings toward recent history. 9/11 influenced “Post-Apocalyptic Tattoos,” depicting what the world might look like in a bleak future, and “Street Urchins” reflects Lombardi’s observations of what he called “marginalized people and animals that lived challenging existences due to the economic decline [of 2008].” 

     Viewers can spot elements of realism, surrealism, pop art and many other styles that have been incorporated into his work. McGowan said of the contrast between his series that each one “almost feels like a different artist completely.” The breadth of his skill can be seen not only through his diverse visual art but also through the articles in the hallway, which he wrote.  

      Lombardi’s open and creative approach leaves his work open for interpretation. “These [pieces] all have so much of a storytelling quality to them,” McGowan said. “I would encourage everyone to bring their own stories… and find where they connect.”  

     It is free to visit Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ent Center until Dec. 12. Lombardi, as well as the exhibition’s curator, T. Michael Martin, will be visiting for a lecture and reception on Sept. 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Display of numerous paintings in the GOCA Gallery. Photo by Lexi Petri.