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Denver Art Museum Offers A Glimpse Into Art’s Modern Masters

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DENVER (CBS4)- Modern art is all about breaking the rules, inspiring others and igniting creativity. At the Denver Art Museum’s new Modern Masters exhibit, fans will have the ability to dive into the works of the artists who used those characteristics to define the art world.

The Modern Masters exhibit offers up more than 70 pieces of art from the most influential artists of the 20th century. The iconic works all come from the world-famous collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

“Many of the works are iconic images that we know from our history or college dorm room posters, and to actually see them now is actually really exciting and really gratifying,” said curator Dean Sobel.

The exhibit isn’t limited to one style of art either. Art fans will be able to see stunning works of cubism, surrealism, abstract expressionism, and pop art.

“After the second world war a group of American artists really redefined what a painting could be,” said Sobel. “They had new ideas about space and about image making, and particularly abstract image making.”

The name Modern Masters truly says it all for art fans. The gallery will have masterpieces from Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. One of Pollack’s most famous pieces involved thinning paint out and pouring and dripping it over a large surface.

Pieces like that may seem random to some but the artists all had a bigger picture in mind.

“I think a lot of their work is trying to communicate some of the traditional ideas of all great art and literature; themes about life and death but communicated in a new, abstract way,” said Sobel.

At the time no one had seen art like this before. For many the modern art movement was shocking and confusing, but for many of the artists that was the point.

“Sometimes those reactions are negative, sometimes they are positive, and sometimes they’re dismissive or angry and that’s totally fine,” said master teacher Stefania Van Dyke. “They elicit a reaction and that’s what these artists were going for.”

These modern masters changed the art world for good, focusing on human experience and emotion.

“These artists are taking what their predecessors did but really pushing forward, and trying new ideas, playing with color, new ways of playing with space, and line and form,” said Van Dyke. “They’re really trying to push art forward and make it expressive and make it about different things.”

Modern Masters will be open to the public March 2 and the exhibit will stay open until June 8.

LINK: denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions

-Written for cbsdenver.com by Conor McCue

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