Art Review

Artbeat

In the last couple of months, the Denver Art Museum (100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000) has acquired some important new pieces.

The department of painting and sculpture has received "Bords de l'Oise a Pontoise," a painting by French impressionist Camille Pissarro, which has been hung on the sixth floor next to another of his works. The painting was donated by the Barnett & Annalee Newman Foundation, in honor of Annalee Newman.

The modern and contemporary department has also been the recipient of a gift, "Quantum Cloud" (above), by British artist Antony Gormley. It's an uncharacteristic piece for the artist, because he has conveyed immateriality as opposed to the sense of solidity he most often explores. For this work, Gormley assembled fine metal bars and created a figure surrounded by a cloud. The Gormley was a gift from the NBT Foundation and is not on exhibit.

Something that is on exhibit is "Genevieve and the May Wolf," an unusual bronze by Kiki Smith. Like the Gormley, the piece is uncharacteristic for the artist. It is a figural group, composed of a heavily built nude woman, representing St. Genevieve, reaching out to a freestanding sculpture of a wolf. St. Genevieve was the daughter of a shepherd, so the wolf is part of her iconography. The museum bought the piece with funds from a variety of sources, including the Alliance for Contemporary Art Auction, and with funds raised by deaccessioning other pieces in the collection.

With the exception of the Gormley, the newly acquired pieces are on display for an indefinite period.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia