Modern Masters Traces the Path of Modern Art Through 50 Works by the Era’s Most Iconic Artists
Exhibition showcases 50 artworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that focus on the artists who shaped American art history
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) and the Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) announced today the presentation of the exhibition Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, March 2–June 8, 2014, at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition brings together approximately 50 iconic artworks by more than 40 influential artists from the late 19th century to the present. Curated by Dean Sobel, director of CSM, the exhibition is drawn from the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, one of the finest collections of 20th-century art in the country.
The exhibition provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness the major stylistic developments that shaped the course of modern art. Modern Masters will feature masterpieces by some of the most prominent names in art history including Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol as well as one of the finest drip paintings ever created by Jackson Pollock. The exhibition will require a special ticket that will provide access to both the exhibition at the DAM as well as 1959, a correlative exhibition at CSM. Tickets will go on sale early 2014.
“Sometimes considered radical or off the wall, the artwork presented in these exhibitions explores a time of great creativity,” Sobel said. “It’s a rare treat to be able to see the development of modern art and then go next door to the Clyfford Still Museum and explore the evolution of one artist in-depth.”
A related exhibition, 1959, will be presented at the CSM February 14–June 15, 2014. Also curated by Sobel, 1959 re-creates Still’s landmark exhibition held at the Albright-Knox in the fall of 1959. This exhibition was the largest of Still’s career and the first following his decision to break ties with the art world in 1951. He included works made during the 1930s and major paintings made in New York during the 1950s. These artworks were not well known at the time and had never previously shown to the public. Further connecting the exhibitions and institutions, Modern Masters includes a strong example of Still’s work from this time period, PH-48, 1957.
“Modern Masters showcases one of the best collections of modern art in the country,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Not only are most of the iconic artists of the time represented, but the works themselves are masterpieces from each artist. We are thrilled to work with our neighbor the Clyfford Still Museum to bring this outstanding exhibition to Denver.”
Located in the level two Hamilton Building temporary exhibition spaces, the exhibition begins in the late 1800s and includes stellar examples of Post-Impressionism by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, which provide a springboard for various expressionist and visionary tendencies apparent in later works throughout the exhibition. Modern Masters also considers ideas that contributed to the development—and conscious rejection—of the art movements Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Minimalism. The largest grouping in the exhibition features approximately 20 mid-century American artists, many of whom identified as Abstract Expressionists, including Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Still. Still is uniquely associated with the Albright-Knox as a result of his gift of 31 paintings to that institution in 1964. Both exhibitions pull a thread on that relationship.
The exhibition also brings to light other themes and tendencies that reappear throughout 20th-century art, such as subject matter drawn from everyday life and the emphasis on “process,” particularly in painting. During this time, the medium itself and the ways in which it was applied became an expressive agent for meaning and emotion.
This exhibition is organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Support is provided by the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and both exhibitions are supported by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4 and The Denver Post.
Denver Art Museum
Online Newsroom: www.denverartmuseum.org/press
Clyfford Still Museum
Online Newsroom: www.clyffordstillmuseum.org/press-room
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast, with a collection of more than 70,000 works of art divided between 10 permanent collections including African, American Indian, Asian, European and American, modern and contemporary, pre-Colombian, photography, Spanish Colonial, textile and western American art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. The museum’s mission is to enrich the lives of present and future generations through the acquisition, presentation and preservation of works of art, supported by exemplary scholarship and public programs related to both its permanent collections and to temporary exhibitions. Located on 13th Avenue between Broadway and Bannock Streets in downtown Denver, it is open Tuesday–Thursday, Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.–8 p.m., except the final Friday of the month January–October when the museum stays open until 10 p.m. for the Untitled event; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas. General museum admission is free the first Saturday of each month, thanks to Target and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). The Cultural Complex Garage is open; enter from 12th Avenue between Broadway and Bannock or check the DAM website for up-to-date parking information. For information in Spanish, call 720-913-0169. For more information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.
The Clyfford Still Museum
The Clyfford Still Museum was founded to promote public and scholarly understanding of the late artist’s work and legacy, through the presentation and preservation of the Clyfford Still and Patricia Still estates, donated to the City of Denver in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and totaling approximately 2,800 artworks. Considered one of the most important painters of the twentieth century, Still (1904 – 1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. The Stills’ estates—now understood to contain nearly 95 percent of the artist’s total output—as well as his extensive archives, were sealed off from the public from 1980 to 2011. The new museum is in the heart of the city’s Civic Center Cultural Complex. The Clyfford Still Museum is located at 1250 Bannock St., Denver, CO. It is open Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about the Clyfford Still Museum, call us at 720-354-4880, visit www.clyffordstillmuseum.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.