Know Your Doug
"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."
- Ray Rinaldi, The Denver Post, December 2018
"Doug Kacena's confident style of contemporary abstract expressionism recounts a lifetime's passion told in dynamic contrast of potent impasto, thin washes and pure fearlessness."
- American Art Collector Magazine, July 2016
"Denver's Arts champion
Doug Kacena is changing the way commercial art galleries operate
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 has produced a slew of memorable, and completely free, exhibitions.... More than that, Kacena has figured oft 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."
- Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, Feb 13, 2022
Doug Kacena (b 1975. Denver, CO, United States) In his decades-spanning career, Doug Kacena has excelled as a celebrated abstract artist whose work has been the subject of a PBS Special, a textile designer of handmade Tibetan and Nepalese rugs, the highly-regarded gallery owner of K Contemporary, a studio owner, an art therapist, a provocative curator, a podcast host, a collector and a passionate advocate for other artists. He has also designed two official patches for NASA and SpaceX for launches to the International Space Station (ISS). Doug is a member of the Denver Art Dealers Association (DADA), a Board Member of RedLine and is on the Contemporary Collections Committee of the Denver Art Museum.
Much like the art he creates, his other endeavors in the art world aim to deconstruct ideas in order to stir up dialogue. Pop-up contemporary art exhibitions staged inside a historic Governor’s Mansion, mobile billboard trucks adorned with fine art driving around the city in a pandemic, a nude internationally renowned performance artist digitally projected onto buildings throughout the city including the centrally-located D&F clock tower in downtown Denver and the iconic City and County building — these are the milieu Doug fosters in order to provoke conversation, and in turn, a deeper understanding of the art.
His curatorial approach is to disrupt and confront, offering viewers a new way to experience art and encouraging artists to think beyond the gallery. For those artists, Doug is a visionary champion, ready to make things happen that even the creators had not considered possible. His tireless promotion of the artists he represents leads to millions of dollars in sales, ceaseless media coverage, and numerous awards and recognitions.
Whether Doug is fulfilling the role of curator or gallerist, of artist or advocate, he does so with the intention of forming connections where they did not previously exist.
Kacena has been featured in dozens of publications including Fine Art Connoisseur, Art Ltd, Southwest Art Magazine, 5280 Magazine, 303 Magazine, The Denver Post, Westword, 1/1 Magazine, Art and Antiques, Denver Life Magazine, The Artists Magazine, Colorado Home and Garden, and American Art Collector.
"Colorado’s biggest, boldest art moments of 2020
Art for the people: Doug Kacena
Doug Kacena was simply not going to have it. 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. It was more than a gallery on wheels; it was also an entertaining and gutsy act of faith during dark days that served both the public and the creatives who depend on audiences to actually experience the things they make."