Abstract Expressionism On Display At Clyfford Still Museum

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Clyfford Still Museum (credit: CBS)

Clyfford Still Museum (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver has any number of great museums, but the city has never seen anything like the soon-to-be open Clyfford Still Museum.

The museum takes you on a journey through the artist’s life, CBS4 Critic at Large Greg Moody reports. It starts with the 1930s and moves into his work from the 1940s. Then it moves into the 1950s, when Still essentially stepped away from the art world and began to paint by his own rules.

“When we open on Nov. 18 it will be first time really in 60 years that any of these paintings have been seen, so it’s a very big deal not only for the art world but for Denver and Colorado,” said Dean Sobel, the museum’s director.

Every room in the museum give you a different sense of the man and his art, from the simplest works to the most dynamic. Still was on three major names in the Abstract Expressionism movement, along with Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.

“Clyfford Still is part of this generation of American artists we call Abstract Expressionists who were really the first artists to gain recognition abroad,” Sobel said. “Before the second World War we really thought of art history in terms of Europe, Western Europe in particular. And Clyfford Still I think is maybe one of the most expressive of those artists. I think visitors will sense a power in these paintings that some of his contemporaries probably never reach.”

And how did Denver get a museum devoted solely to the works one of the great American painters of the 20th Century?

“It was a very simple request in his will that all of the 2,400 artworks would be given — not sold — to an American city that would build permanent quarters for survival and study, and it was Denver that rose to that challenge,” Sobel said.

Now, those paintings and his body of work, come alive in Denver at the new Clyfford Still Museum.

Admission to the museum, located right next to the Denver Art Museum at 13th and Bannock, will be $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and $3 for children.

LINK: ClyffordStillMuseum.org

- Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.

- Also, don’t miss Moody’s entertaining bio, his Top Spots in Denver lists, and his frequently updated Moody’s Picks page.

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