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clyfford still | museum
PH-235 (detail)
PH-235, 1944 (detail), 1944-N-No. 1, Oil on canvas. 105 x 92.5 in. © City and County of Denver

Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project

By Ashley Ludkowski

Abstract expressionism developed during one of the twentieth century’s most traumatic moments. For artists at the time, they began to search for a new way to make art, responding to the corruption and the absolutely unknown quality of the imminent future. Exploring the wonders of the human experience in their work, abstract expressionists often reveal themes of profound emotions. For Clyfford Still, he explored many themes surrounding life and death. The Clyfford Still Museum is honoring this beautiful essence of emotions by working with the Colorado Ballet and other community partners to promote Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project.

This ballet is meant to ignite and remind viewers about the importance of the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate. With a focus on discrimination, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The ballet was originally inspired by the heartrending odyssey of one Holocaust survivor, Naoimi Warren. She discovered that there is still love, still life, still opportunity at the end of all the destruction. For survivors of the holocaust, as horrific and tragic as their stories may be, they are also beautiful because nothing but love comes from that.

Art can be a catalyst for change. It allows viewers to think about issues in a way they don’t ordinarily. Once the conversation is started, people can change the world. Join us as we turn our focus on discrimination and the triumph of the human spirit through art.

We have selected the “Black” gallery of the Red/Yellow/Blue (and Black and White) exhibition to harmonize with the works of the Colorado Ballet and their contemporary act consisting of five movements with five different composers. Once the director Stephen Mills met with Warren, he realized he had the perfect platform to share her magnificent story with the public. Nobody will ever be able to wrestle with all the issues of the holocaust, but you can always begin with one issue – and for Mills, he choose Warren’s story.

The Colorado Ballet will close out the season with Light /The Holocaust & Humanity Project March 29-31, 2013 at the Newman Center at the University of Denver.

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