Denver, CO – March 9, 2020 – The Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) and the Colorado Symphony will present their debut collaboration Music and Art: A Symphonic Exploration at 7:30 p.m. on March 27 at the Boettcher Concert Hall. The program will include the world premiere of a CSM-commissioned piece by composer James Clarke and a collection of contemporary works.
Clarke received a 2018 CSM Research Center fellowship to use archival and collections research to create an original composition. According to CSM director Dean Sobel, the Museum wanted to extend its Research Center activities beyond traditional historical research to include other art forms and emphasize Still’s other interests including his love of music.
Over the course of two months, Clarke studied Still in depth. He said that his research emphasized what he already understood about Still, but the more he discovered, the more he began to respect him. “The attitude Still had to life and art was unique,” said Clarke. “No one matches him for integrity, determination, and honesty in his view of art’s importance. Still’s attitude and his whole life’s work are what impress me. He too believed the individual paintings were part of a whole symphony of work, best understood together.”
Sobel hopes the new composition will help provide a new, non-verbal language for understanding Still’s open-ended abstract works.
“My composition relates to Still in that, just as his (later) work is not figurative, my music contains no melodic themes and does not proceed in a traditional manner,” said Clarke. “[Still’s] art is characterized by huge blocks of color, by masses, magma-like rough and scarred surfaces, glimmers of elusive shapes and forms. These qualities can be heard in sound in my own work.”
Tickets for Music and Art: A Symphonic Exploration are available online at coloradosymphony.org.
About the Clyfford Still Museum
Designed by Allied Works Architecture to display the revolutionary art of a modern master, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in November 2011 in Denver’s burgeoning Golden Triangle Creative District. Considered one of the most important and mysterious painters of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904-1980) was among the first generation of abstract expressionist artists who developed a new and powerful approach to painting in the years during and immediately after World War II. The Museum’s collection represents 95% of the artist’s lifetime output. As the steward of Still’s art and legacy, the Museum’s mission is to preserve, exhibit, study, and foster engagement with its unique collections; generate outstanding exhibitions, scholarly research, educational and other cross-disciplinary programs that broaden the definition of a “single-artist” museum; and be a gathering place for the exploration of innovation and individual artistic endeavor. Connect with the Clyfford Still Museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or at clyffordstillmuseum.org.
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