Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A dang good art start.

I promise this is it. I’ll quit boring you with details from the Denver Art Museum. And I’ll try to keep this short. But I just had to say that the museum has a decent start on 20th and 21st century art collections. And since I gravitate towards the newer artists, this makes me happy.

Here’s why I was impressed with the contemporary collection. I always have a list of artists that I’ve never seen in person, but that I would like to see in person. I enjoy going to a museum and discovering they have works by artists on my list. Usually, it’s at the big museums that you find these works. But Denver knocked four artists off my list.

I’ll start with Kiki Smith. I already mentioned her as part of the RADAR post but DAM also has a large Kiki Smith bronze in its permanent collection. Number two on the list is Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud XXXIII a picture of which is included in my post about the DAM’s architecture. Gormley’s work was shown in a gallery with works by Robert Smithson and Sol Lewitt.

Third on my list is Richard Serra. Granted, the work by Serra (Basic Maintenance) was comparatively small weighing in at a paltry six tons. But the fact that this work was so small for the artists makes me even more interested in seeing his larger rolled steel works. Basic Maintenance is held in place simply by the angles and weight of the steel slabs. A member of the museum staff told me that the floor of the gallery had to be strengthened to accommodate the sculpture.

And just across from Richard Serra was a work by the fourth artist knocked off my list Anish Kapoor. Here again the sculpture was small compared with much of Kapoor’s art but it had plenty of his hallmarks; shiny surfaces; shapes that played with reflections; highly refined metal work.

I guess you could say I lost my art virginity four times at DAM.

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