Friday, November 18, 2011

Clyfford Still Museum: Public Opening

The new Clyfford Still Museum opened to members of the public for free until noon today [Friday 18th], and we were able to get inside over lunch to see the space and artworks.  Overall, a very impressive experience with large galleries flooded with natural light and a feeling like around every turn new discoveries were waiting to be made.  We will need multiple visits and take more time to study all the pieces, but they included everything from very large canvases to a showcase of Still's tools and interactive biography displays.

The large featured canvas paintings were incredibly vivid and dynamic explorations of form and color, accommodated in perfectly scaled galleries for either viewing one at a time or in context with other adjacent works.  The view corridors through the upper level lobbies seemed as if they were meant to entice the visitor with unique vantage points and glimpses of the art at great distances.  Definitely worth a visit!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still Museum opening soon

Clyfford Still Museum North Elevation
Photo by Jeremy Bittermann/courtesy Clyfford Still Museum

Museum opening may shed new light on Clyfford Still

To much anticipation, the Clyfford Still Museum is slated to open to the public next Friday November 18th.  This will be the first time that many of Still's works will be seen by more than just his family, friends and curators.  And the press has lit up with excitement...

TIME magazine has a wonderful summary of how the museum came to be, and a enticing description of the natural light in the gallery spaces.

Architectural Record has a short article on Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture giving his first impressions of the nearly complete Clyfford Still Museum construction.  Cloepfil won the commission in a 2006 shortlisted competition entry over DS + R and Ohlson DuBois Architects.

“Wow,” he says. “It’s like seeing it for the first time. It’s done. It’s real. This is probably the first time in my career that a building is more than I imagined. Everything is better than I hoped for...
“Denver, contrary to what some people think, is a prairie town,” Cloepfil says. Pointing to the west, he says, “The mountains are way over there. I wanted this building to be grounded, part of the earth. This is a neighborhood with very aspirational, very bombastic, very extroverted buildings, and this is a very introverted project.” Cloepfil has said that he conceived of the building “as a nearly geologic experience, one that firmly holds both visitor and art in spaces amplified by natural light.

A recent development in how the museum will continue to live on is yet another impressive chapter in the legacy of Clyfford Still.  To help pay for the museum and establish an endowment for the new building's operations, 4 of Still's paintings were sold for  more than $114 Million at Sotheby's auction house.  Absolutely staggering.

See a video from the Denver Post with a preview glimpse of the new galleries:

See a photo gallery of the art installation preparations here.

 Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post
Exterior Concrete Texture, Courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Friday, November 04, 2011

a good reminder

" A meaningful architectural experience is not simply a series of retinal images.  The 'elements' of architecture are not visual units or gestalt; they are encounters, confrontations that interact with memory." - Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin

Door handle at Zumthor's Saint Benedict Chapel