DAM Fine Sights
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"Follow the Masters! But why should we follow them? The only reason they are the Masters is that they didn't follow anybody!" — Paul Gauguin 1895
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is a world class surprise and well worth a visit after but especially during its current exhibit Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery NY (through June 8, 2014).
The buildings housing the collections are unique works of art in themselves. The 7-story North Building, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti, rises from downtown Denver, Colorado like an imposing Norman-Italianate fortress out of the Middle Ages. That should keep everything safe. Early one evening I was fortunate to capture the sunlight shimmering off the exterior cladding of more than one million gray tiles (photo above right).
The newer Frederic C. Hamilton Building by architect Daniel Libeskind reflects not only the surrounding mountain peaks but also geometric rock crystals found in the foothills of the Rockies. With art as their bloodline, the sibling buildings are a study in contrast: one sleek, the other solid, both expressive by design.
Modern Masters ‘brings together approximately 50 iconic artworks by more than 40 influential artists from the late 19th century to the present, providing an opportunity to witness the major stylistic developments that shaped the course of modern art.’
‘It features masterpieces by some of the most prominent names in art history including Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol as well as one of the finest drip paintings ever created by Jackson Pollock’.
At the DAM’s “sister” Clyfford Still Museum next door a related exhibition 1959: The Albright Art Gallery Exhibition Recreated is devoted to Still’s landmark exhibition held at the Albright-Knox in the fall of that year. On until June 15, 2014.
* My wife and I flew from Toronto to Denver on one of the new Air Canada non-stop flights.