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Modern Masters distills the canon of twentieth-century art at the Denver Art Museum

Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Le Carnaval d'Arlequin (Carnival of Harlequin), 1924-25. Oil on canvas; support: 26 x 35-5/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1940. © 2014 Successió Miró S.L./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Le Carnaval d'Arlequin (Carnival of Harlequin), 1924-25. Oil on canvas; support: 26 x 35-5/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1940. © 2014 Successió Miró S.L./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

In a showing of neighborly solidarity, the Denver Art Museum turned to Dean Sobel of the Clyfford Still Museum to bring rare, twentieth-century riches from Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery to Denver. The resulting exhibit, Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons From the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, is the kind of show that will knock the wind out of you, a jewel-box of iconic images you rarely have the chance to see in person.

See also: Passport to Paris serves up French art with a side of history at the Denver Art Museum

"People here have not had direct contact with works by the greats of the period -- Miró, Picasso, Warhol," says Sobel. "This exhibition, in my view, is as good as it gets. It tells the story of modern art as well as any museum in the nation." The exhibit's centerpiece is a room of abstract expressionist works -- including a stunning Jackson Pollock -- many of which the long-standing gallery bought straight from the artists' studios before they'd gained art-world cachet.

Following is a sampler of what you'll see in Modern Masters, which, as Sobel notes, picks up where the last DAM blockbuster, Passport to Paris, left off.

Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903). Spirit of the Dead Watching, 1892. Oil on burlap mounted on canvas; 28- 3/4 x 36-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. A. Conger Goodyear Collection, 1965.
Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903). Spirit of the Dead Watching, 1892. Oil on burlap mounted on canvas; 28- 3/4 x 36-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. A. Conger Goodyear Collection, 1965.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Giacomo Balla (Italian, 1871 or 1874-1958), Dinamismo di un Cane al Guinzaglio (Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash), 1912. Oil on canvas; 37-5/8 x 45-1/2 x 2-5/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear and Gift of George F. Goodyear, 1964. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome.
Giacomo Balla (Italian, 1871 or 1874-1958), Dinamismo di un Cane al Guinzaglio (Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash), 1912. Oil on canvas; 37-5/8 x 45-1/2 x 2-5/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear and Gift of George F. Goodyear, 1964. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome.

Continue reading for more Modern Masters images.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), La Toilette, 1906. Oil on canvas; 59-1/2 x 39 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Fellows for Life Fund, 1926. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), La Toilette, 1906. Oil on canvas; 59-1/2 x 39 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Fellows for Life Fund, 1926. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Marc Chagall (French, born Russia, 1887-1985), La vie paysanne (Peasant Life), 1925. Oil on canvas; 39- 3/8 x 31-1/2 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1941. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Marc Chagall (French, born Russia, 1887-1985), La vie paysanne (Peasant Life), 1925. Oil on canvas; 39- 3/8 x 31-1/2 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1941. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), La Musique, 1939. Oil on canvas; 45-3/8 x 45-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1940. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), La Musique, 1939. Oil on canvas; 45-3/8 x 45-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1940. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Continue reading for more Modern Masters images.

Arthur Garfield Dove (American, 1880-1946), Fields of Grain as Seen from Train, 1931. Oil on canvas; 24 x 34-1/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958. The Estate of Arthur G.Dove, courtesy Terry Dintenfass, Inc.
Arthur Garfield Dove (American, 1880-1946), Fields of Grain as Seen from Train, 1931. Oil on canvas; 24 x 34-1/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958. The Estate of Arthur G.Dove, courtesy Terry Dintenfass, Inc.

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954), Self Portrait with Monkey, 1938. Oil on Masonite; 16 x 12 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966. © 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954), Self Portrait with Monkey, 1938. Oil on Masonite; 16 x 12 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966. © 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Arshile Gorky (American, born Armenia, 1904- 1948). The Liver Is the Cock's Comb, 1944. Oil on canvas; 73-1/4 x 98-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956. © 2014 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Arshile Gorky (American, born Armenia, 1904- 1948). The Liver Is the Cock's Comb, 1944. Oil on canvas; 73-1/4 x 98-3/8 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956. © 2014 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Continue reading for more Modern Masters images.

Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Convergence, 1952. Oil on canvas; support: 93-1/2 x 155 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956. © 2014 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Convergence, 1952. Oil on canvas; support: 93-1/2 x 155 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956. © 2014 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society, New York.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980), 1957-D No. 1, 1957. Oil on canvas; support: 113 x 159 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1959.
Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980), 1957-D No. 1, 1957. Oil on canvas; support: 113 x 159 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1959.
Photograph by Tom Loonan © Clyfford Still Estate.

Frank Stella (American, born 1936), Jill, 1959. Enamel on canvas; 90-3/8 x 78-3/4 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1962. © 2014 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.
Frank Stella (American, born 1936), Jill, 1959. Enamel on canvas; 90-3/8 x 78-3/4 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1962. © 2014 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), 100 Cans, 1962. Oil on canvas; 72 x 52 in. Collection Albright- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1963. © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Arts, Inc. /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Campbell Trademarks used with permission of Campbell Soup Company.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), 100 Cans, 1962. Oil on canvas; 72 x 52 in. Collection Albright- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1963. © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Arts, Inc. /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Campbell Trademarks used with permission of Campbell Soup Company.

Modern Masters opens Sunday, March 2 at the DAM and runs through the middle of June; Sobel's companion show, 1959: The Albright-Knox Art Gallery Exhibition Re-created, runs concurrently next door at the Clyfford Still Museum. Admission to Modern Masters, $5 to $20 (children ages five and under admitted free), is good for admission at both museums -- not necessarily on the same day. For reservations and information, visit the Denver Art Museum or Clyfford Still Museum online.


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