Untitled (runway)

Untitled (runway)

Dirk Skreber, German, 1961-
Born: Lubeck, Germany
Work Locations: Düsseldorf, Germany, New York
Oil and weather-stripping tape on canvas
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
Dirk Skreber (German). Untitled (runway). 2001. Oil and weather-stripping tape on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. 2016.145.
height: 67 in, 170.1800 cm; width: 114 in, 289.5600 cm
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

The heroic scale of Skreber’s paintings imbues the canvas with a sense of sublimity despite a narrative of disaster. Through cool detachment, the catastrophe of a flood or a train crash becomes awe inspiring and perhaps even beautiful. This is especially evident in his landscapes, which use aerial perspective to heighten the pervasiveness of an uncanny silence. Skreber challenges seemingly contradictory ideas in contemporary painting such as abstraction and figuration, color and line, beauty and catastrophe. His ordinarily disturbing content is a vehicle for exploration of formal issues.

As "Untitled (runway)" suggests, a long runway extends diagonally from the bottom center of the work through the left center. The viewer is looking at the scene from above, with the flood waters visibly filling the two houses parallel to the runway. An eerie sense of calm radiates from the work, as the water’s presence increases the stagnant state of destruction.

Dirk Skreber was born in Lubeck, Germany in 1961. He graduated from the Dusseldorf Art Academy in 1988, and he currently lives and works in New York City. 

Known Provenance
Purchased by Vicki and Kent Logan from Blum & Poe, 2001; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2016
Exhibition History
  • "Radar: Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan"— Denver Art Museum [10/07/2006 - 07/15/2007]
  • "Earth and Fire"— Denver Art Museum [06/11/2011 - 08/05/2012] (loan request originally February 2011 - February 2013

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