Explosions of Energy Near the Sun 50 Billion Years B.C.

Explosions of Energy Near the Sun 50 Billion Years B.C.

1978
Artist
Vance Kirkland, American, 1904-1981
Born: Convoy, OH
Work Locations: Denver, CO
painting
Oil paint and water on linen
Gift of Vance H. and Anne O. Kirkland
1982.557

Vance Kirkland
Explosions of Energy Near the Sun 50 Billion Years B.C., 1978
Oil paint and water on linen
Gift of Vance H. and Anne O. Kirkland, 1982.557

Dimensions
height: 75 in, 190.5000 cm; width: 100 in, 254.0000 cm
Inscription
"Kirkland 1978 8" BR/"Vance Kirkland" verso TL
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art

Vance Kirkland was a major figure in the Colorado art scene for over 50 years. For the first half of his painting career Kirkland was a water colorist, painting landscapes and scenes from nature. In 1953, he moved on to experiment with new materials and techniques—including his exploration into the possibilities of mixing water with oil paint to achieve glowing abstract surfaces.

His space paintings, from the last half of his career, do not come from scientific data or the telescope; they are his own interpretations of the sublime energy of universal forces such as heat, fire, exploding stars, and the great mysteries of space. “I am trying to paint something I do not know exists in a tangible way,” he said. “If I am looking at space, who is going to say it never existed? It has existed in my mind.”

Exhibition History
  • "Retrospectacle: 25 Years of Collecting Modern and Contemporary Art"--Denver Art Museum, 11/16/2002 - 8/3/2003
  • "Earth and Fire"--Denver Art Museum, 6/11/2011 - 6/5/2011

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