Summer 2014 at the Denver Art Museum

Highlights include 3-D family fun, contemporary Japanese woodblock prints and the first solo show for a Colorado artist

Focusing on the museum’s platform of exploring and igniting creativity, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will open several exhibitions that present patrons with the opportunity to experience a wide swath of artistic styles and get inspired by live artist demonstrations and hands-on artmaking opportunities. Along with the exhibitions listed below, the museum also will present The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925, the first full-scale exhibition to explore western bronze sculptures, May 11–August 31, and Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective, a full-scale retrospective of American painter Tom Wesselmann, who is widely regarded as one of the leading figures of American pop art, July 13–September 14. All listed exhibitions and programs are included in general museum admission.

Exhibition Openings

Daniel Sprick’s Fictions: Recent Works

June 29–November 2, 2014

Daniel Sprick’s recent paintings blur the line between realism and abstraction. His meticulous representation of everyday objects and stirring interpretation of the human form provide viewers a new way to look at the world.

“Upon first glance, viewers might think Daniel’s works are photographs because of their stunningly realistic elements,” said Timothy J. Standring, exhibition curator and Gates Foundation Curator at the DAM. “However, the longer we look at one of his paintings, the more we become aware that they are anything but a part of our world. We encounter Sprick’s paintings not so much as statements, but more as experiences, whereby we engage deeply with his creativity.”

Daniel Sprick, Ketsia, 2013. © 2014 Daniel Sprick. Courtesy of private collection. Photograph by Wes Magyar and WM Artist Services.

More than 40 examples of the Colorado artist’s portraiture and still life paintings will be on display in the Gates Family Gallery on level two of the Hamilton Building. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sprick studied with Ramon Froman, attended the National Academy of Design and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado. Sprick, who resides in Denver, has had many solo exhibitions across the United States. The accompanying publication, Daniel Sprick’s Fictions: Recent Works, distributed by the University of New Mexico Press, will be available in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum.

At the Mirror: Reflections of Japan in 20th Century Prints

July 6–September 21, 2014

These contemporary prints reveal the changing styles and art movements developed by Japanese printmakers during a one-hundred-year period. The variety of styles reflects the changing appearance of Japan as it embraced modern technology while paying homage to its cultural past.

Focusing on woodblock prints ranging in date from 1901 to 2001, all prints in this exhibition were acquired by the DAM since 1970 to provide the collection with artworks that demonstrate the continuation of a traditional Japanese art form into the 20th century. 

Yosaku Sekino, High Autumn, 1994. Denver Art Museum; Yasuko and John Bush and Asian art department acquisition fund.

“Woodblock printing has been around for centuries,” said Ronald Y. Otsuka, exhibition curator and Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art at the DAM. “But that doesn’t mean that artists didn’t explore their own creativity and push the boundaries of this ancient art form. In the 20th century, they played with new subjects and topics that were relevant to a contemporary audience.”

The exhibition will feature approximately 70 prints in the Martin and McCormick Gallery on level two of the Hamilton Building. Popular subjects such as landscapes, portraits and images of women will be represented along with a variety of woodblock printmaking processes. The 20th century also brought new work from families of printmakers, with each successive generation making their own mark.

First Glance/Second Look: Quilts from the Denver Art Museum Collection

Opens June 1, 2014

A complete new display in textile art galleries features more than 20 quilts arranged in nine thematic groupings. Each section will compel viewers to look closely at the different themes and variations. Visitors can discover common roots for motifs and patterns and creative differences in materials and techniques. More than half of the objects are recent acquisitions on view for the first time, while others, including The Matterhorn quilt, are well-known treasures of the collection. Complementing the exhibition is a display by 10 contemporary artists whose quilts illustrate how traditions continue, evolve and inspire.

Houses and Pine Trees Quilt, unknown artist, American, 1890s. Denver Art Museum Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Guido Goldman.

Summer in 3-D

This summer, the museum will take visitors beyond the gallery walls and into a world of three-dimensional fun. The museum kicks off summer hours and programs May 31. The Family Activity Cart will be out daily and provide visitors with access to Family Backpacks and Art Tubes. Both Family Backpacks and Art Tubes are free for visitors to check out and provide a variety of hands-on activities connected to a specific art collection. Also available daily are the museum’s in-gallery, facilitated activity stops called Create-n-Takes. The new Create-n-Takes will focus on a Nkisi figure from the African art collection and one of the museum’s Frederic Remington horse sculptures from the western American art collection.

Starting in June, painter and sculptor Jeffrey Gibson will transform the artist-in-residence space on level three of the North Building into a film production and editing suite. Departing from his signature sculptural style, Gibson will collaborate with students to explore documentary filmmaking. He will pair local Native American dancers and musicians with objects from the collections.

Family Backpacks, free to check out from the Family Activity Cart, feature in-gallery games and activities to make each visit to the Denver Art Museum fun and rewarding.

The DAM commissioned artist Jason Rogenes to transform the Precourt Family Discovery Hall into a magical environment where families can construct their own universe with custom cast “asteroid” building blocks. Utilizing reclaimed packing materials such as cardboard and Styrofoam, Rogenes creates wild environments that beg families to add their mark. Jason Rogenes: V3H1CL3 opens May 25.

These exhibitions have been organized by the Denver Art Museum. Support is provided by the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4 and The Denver Post.

Family and kids programs are supported by the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Education Programs, Nancy Benson Education Endowment Fund, CenturyLink Endowment, and Jim Kelley and Amie Knox Education Endowment Fund. Significant funding is also provided by TeleTech, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Harry L. Willett Foundation, Lorraine and Harley Higbie and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Media Resources

Download PDF of press release.