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A family wearing masks sits in front of an orange and blue painting
Photo by James Dewhirst

Stories We Tell: The Collection Two Ways exhibition presents the Clyfford Still Museum Art Collection in two complementary but alternate ways

Denver, CO – March 3, 2021 – The Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) will open the new exhibition Stories We Tell: The Collection Two Ways on March 26. The exhibition digs deep into the Museum’s vaults to present works from the Museum’s collection in two complementary but alternate ways as a means to understand how artworks and their meaning can change based on curatorial strategy.

Curated by Bailey Placzek, CSM associate curator and Dean Sobel, former CSM director, Stories We Tell: The Collection Two Ways presents Still’s works arranged chronologically in the first five galleries and thematically in the remaining four rooms.

According to Placzek and Sobel, the primary strategy for both curatorial displays is to illustrate some of the main artistic foundations that ground Still’s art. These include his stylistic path from representation to abstraction; the role of figuration, color, machines, and doubling in his art; how the artist changes an image across media; and Still’s conception of artistic space. Both curatorial arrangements reveal these themes through different methods, so visitors with diverse learning styles and experiences can relate to the collection and understand Still’s art in more than one way. Moreover, this curatorial exercise emphasizes the importance of a multiplicity of approaches when presenting artworks to the community.

“Museums go to great lengths to organize their collections for their various audiences: by culture, maker, nationality, chronology, stylistic movement, theme, and even size,” said Placzek. “While thoughtful presentation of artworks in exhibitions is essential, every strategy has its own strengths and shortcomings, and every visitor has unique expectations when it comes to viewing art. We welcome visitors to think about their own preferences and leave feedback.”

In addition to the differing curatorial strategies, the Museum has singled out several key works in the exhibition to explore the question, how have the global pandemic, economic hardship, and extreme political division during the last year affected visitors’ experiences of art? CSM hopes these perspectives will provide additional points of connection and relevance during these extraordinary times.

During the opening weekend, March 26–28, CSM will have member hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and general public hours from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition will run through October 10, 2021. For the safety of visitors and staff, the Museum will continue to limit the number of guests and require tickets to be purchased in advance. All visitors must have a pre-purchased ticket, including those receiving free admission, such as children ages 17 and under. Tickets are on sale now at clyffordstillmuseum.org or by calling 720-354-4880.

The Clyfford Still Museum will offer a variety of free programs and events during the run of the exhibition. To enhance the visitor experience, the Museum has partnered with Friends of Chamber Music to offer an in-gallery listening experience for members and visitors during the first weekend. Visit clyffordstillmuseum.org/events for a schedule of upcoming programs.

About the Clyfford Still Museum
Designed by Allied Works Architecture to display the revolutionary art of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in November 2011 in Denver’s 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 more than 93% 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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