Master abstract expressionist Clyfford Still had no connection to Colorado during his life, but in death, the museum that is dedicated to him will have a daily connection to Denver. The Clyfford Still Museum opens today at 10 a.m. at 1250 Bannock Street, and it promises to bring a whole new element to the local art world. As Westword art critic Michael Paglia, who got a sneak peak at the museum, wrote about museum director Dean Sobel:
All of the selections from the permanent collection are on view in the Inaugural Exhibition, displayed on the second floor in a series of nine galleries that have been subdivided into ten discrete spaces. Sobel has used these spaces to tell Still's story in chronological order, revealing the origins of his sensibility in the 1920s, leading up to his abstract-expressionist breakthrough in the '40s, and following him right up to his last paintings from the 1970s. The tale unfolds in sequential increments, revealing many things about Still and the development of abstract expressionism in general.
Though Sobel worked with models of the spaces and miniature versions of the pieces, he's a hands-on exhibition designer and hung some of it instinctually, making a few major changes in his selections after the works arrived. The results are so magical, and so informative that it's impossible to quibble with any of his calls.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.