DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver Art Museum will open the complete exhibition of The Light Show to the public on Sunday. It showcases artwork from all of its departments under a theme exploring the physical and spiritual aspects of light across two different levels inside the museum.
“We were fascinated by the theme,” Becky Hart, the Vicki and Kent Logan Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum. “We as humans come to understand the divine through the physical world around us.”
Hart says the exhibition has a visually appealing collection that will provide unexpected pairings for visitors. Some pieces even mix aspects of art from the East and West.
“The subject is an excuse to showcase masterpieces,” said Jorge Rivas Perez, the Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art for the museum. “We tried to create ways to connect with the city through art.”
The Light Show features around 250 different objects from all nine curatorial departments at DAM. In some cases, staff had to research the best way to preserve or restore works on display so they would maintain their original form while on display.
“For the look and feel of this artwork it was really important that we had the incandescents,” said Kate Moomaw, assistant conservator of modern and contemporary art. “I hope that people get a really authentic experience of these artworks.”
Moomaw explained that one piece of art featured light bulbs from the 1970s and she ordered the right model from Amazon in the UK to keep the integrity of the piece. She says similar research was needed for about half of the work coming from the modern and contemporary collection.
Hart and Perez collaborated on this show as co-curators bringing two unique approaches to art.
“We have very different views of the same objects,” Perez said.
Perez says they complemented each other well bringing contemporary and historic perspectives to the exhibition. For example, while he might focus on the dates of a piece and the technology available at the time, Hart would think about how the same artwork would be received in the present day.
“We thought about the underworld, we thought about darkness in our lives and how we can sometimes lose our physical and moral bearings in the world,” Hart said.
Hart explained that they wanted to explore all aspects of the theme and show the many forms it can take in society including color, a form of knowledge, and teachings of religion. It allows for a universal concept that covers all of the departments at the museum. While the pieces do come from all over the world and tell the story of various cultures, some of the artwork is from Denver or have a connection to the city.
The curators say today we take for granted how easily you can create light and this show will help to appreciate the challenge it was in the past. While the topic may be complex on some level, the visuals alone will invite visitors of all ages and the museum admits children for free with adult general admission. The collection will also be available during Free First Saturdays at DAM.
“One of our goals in the show is to have unusual juxtapositions,” Hart said.
LINK: Denver Art Museum