Best Historic Solo (2014)

In Thin Air: The Art of Phyllis Hutchinson Montrose

Kirkland Museum director Hugh Grant has spent the past several years rediscovering forgotten or all-but-forgotten Colorado artists who were once prominent and giving them shows. But he did something different with In Thin Air: The Art of Phyllis Hutchinson Montrose. Since the artist had never been prominent, Grant became the one to discover her. A protégée of Angelo di Benedetto, who was the reigning dean of the once-vibrant art scene in Central City, Montrose chose not to exhibit except on rare occasions; as a result, no one knew who she was, and there was no awareness in the community of her very finely crafted representational surrealist paintings, which were carried out with a meticulous technique. When Montrose was starting out sixty years ago, abstract expressionism ruled, so she was behind the times. But seen in retrospect at the Kirkland, her work looked pretty cool.


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