Clyfford Still was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionists who experimented with abstract forms, expressive brushwork, and monumental scale, all of which were used to convey universal themes about creation, life, struggle, and death (“the human condition”), themes that took on a considerable relevance during and after World War II. Opening November 18, 2011, the Clyfford Still Museum will house 94% of his entire oeuvre: 100 paintings dating from 1920 - 1943, 350 paintings dating from 1944 - 1960, 375 paintings dating from 1961 - 1979, 1575 works on paper. The location of the museum is directly behind the Hamilton building of the Denver Art Museum and being able to watch its progress is amazing. The building looks very interesting with its textured concrete walls. I am equally excited to see the artworks that it will house since Still very rarely allowed them to be shown publicly.
When the museum first announced the coming of the Marvelous Mud exhibit, I was not overly enthusiastic. I figured the galleries would be filled with pottery for the summer. I was proven wrong when I experienced “Overthrown,” a collection of contemporary artists working with clay in some form. I was awestruck with the large scale installations in the gallery - 3 walls were completely tiled, a chandelier-like mixture of clay and light, a long wall of ceramic flowers, two clay figures still drying, and more. It is definitely worth taking a look at if you have the time.
There are a wide range of public art installations around the city of Denver. This is, by far, my favorite. I love Claes Oldenburg and his fascination with ordinary objects. Luckily, this sits right outside of the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building so I get to experience it every day.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, The Big Sweep, 2006.
I wrote my BA Thesis on the relationship between Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner and its effect on her work and career. Although the Denver Art Museum does not have an original work by Pollock or Krasner, look what was just installed! This is Robert Arneson’s sculptural version of Jackson Pollock’s She-Wolf (1943) entitled Last of the Great Buffalo Hunters. I am so thrilled to see this work back on display. Arneson shared my enthusiasm for Pollock and reproduced many of his works. This piece even includes a portrait of Pollock on the rear of the animal. This is the closest I’m going to get at the moment….now to plan a trip to New York…