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clyfford still | museum
Large abstract blue painting with a black and orange lifeline
Clyfford Still, PH-247, 1951 (detail). Oil on canvas, 117 x 92 in. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO. © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY

Clyfford Still Unveiled: Selections from the Estate

Clyfford Still Museum to offer sneak preview of 13 major works spanning the artist’s career

DENVER – May 21, 2007 – The Clyfford Still Museum announced today that it will present Clyfford Still Unveiled: Selections from the Estate, a special exhibition of thirteen major works by Clyfford Still. The works will be on view from July 14 through September 30, 2007, at the Denver Art Museum, adjacent to the Still Museum ’s future home. This presentation will afford the first and only “sneak preview” of the future Clyfford Still Museum prior to its opening in 2010, and will feature artworks from Still’s estate, most of which have never been publicly displayed and all of which have been removed from view since the artist’s death in 1980.

“This exhibition will give the public a first glimpse of the incredible paintings and drawings in the Still estate, which the artist has so generously bequeathed to the city of Denver and the Clyfford Still Museum,” said Dean Sobel, director of the Clyfford Still Museum. “As the museum moves forward with architectural designs for its new home, we know that this exhibition will begin to illustrate the significance of this exceptional gift to our community.”

“On behalf of the Still family and estate, I am delighted at this early opportunity for the public to enjoy my father’s work,” said Sandra L. Still Campbell, one of Clyfford Still’s two daughters. “We eagerly anticipate the opening of the Still Museum, and welcome the chance to have Still’s work shown in the city which will soon be its permanent home.”

The works on view will provide an overview of Still’s career, demonstrating key moments in his artistic development and the evolution of his signature style. The works to be exhibited include:

  • Still’s little-known early figurative works, depicting the artist’s personal interpretation of “American Scene” painting and showing themes evident in his later works
  • A 1940 self-portrait of the artist
  • Never-before-seen works on paper dating from 1935-52
  • Still masterworks dating from the late 1940s through mid 1950s, showing the evolution of Still’s mature, purely abstract style

Among the works drawn from the height of Still’s Abstract Expressionist years will be 1944-N No. 1, the first version of a nearly identical painting at the Museum of Modern Art. This work presents a fully realized Abstract Expressionist composition executed several years before Still’s contemporaries – who included Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning – had arrived at their own mature styles, and deftly illustrates Still’s role as an innovator in the movement.

This special exhibition is part of an ongoing series of programs developed by the Clyfford Still Museum to provide the Denver community with an introduction to Still and his work, in anticipation of the new museum’s opening in 2010. As part of this series, the museum will present a lecture entitled “Who Is Clyfford Still and Why Does He Matter?” by Still Museum Director Dean Sobel on July 11, 2007. The lecture will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Denver Art Museum’s Sharp Auditorium.

“The Clyfford Still Museum will be a vital addition to the City’s core cultural assets, where ongoing developments have helped to establish Denver as an internationally significant cultural destination,” said Erin Trapp, Director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. “All of us in Denver look forward to showcasing the work of one of America’s most noteworthy artists in this special preview presentation and to the opening of the Still Museum in Denver in 2010.”

About The Clyfford Still Museum

The Clyfford Still Museum was founded to promote public and scholarly understanding of the late artist’s work and legacy, through the presentation and preservation of the Clyfford Still Estate, totaling approximately 2,400 artworks bequeathed to the City of Denver in 2004. Considered one of the most important painters of the twentieth century, Still (1904-1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. Still’s estate—now understood to be 94 percent of the artist’s total output—as well as his extensive archive, have been sealed off from the public since 1980.

The Clyfford Still Museum will be located in Denver , Colorado , in the heart of the Civic Center Cultural Complex, near the Denver Art Museum and its new Daniel Libeskind- designed building, the Denver Public Library designed by Michael Graves, and the Colorado History Museum . For more information about the Clyfford Still Museum, please visit www.clyffordstillmuseum.org.

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