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Two women and a man look at three abstract oil paintings on the wall in an art gallery
Photo by James Dewhirst

You Select: A Community-Curated Exhibition opens on August 19 at the Clyfford Still Museum

Denver, CO – August 1, 2022 – The Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) will open You Select: A Community-Curated Exhibition, the final exhibition celebrating the Museum’s tenth anniversary, on August 19. The show recognizes the importance of the community and CSM’s support networks by featuring Still’s artworks chosen by the public.

Through a voting platform on the Museum’s website, CSM asked art lovers from the Denver area and beyond to select works in five different exhibition categories: West Coast Revolution, High-Impact Color, Richmond Oils on Paper, Abstract Expressionism, and Movement. These categories are translated in the exhibition to represent five moments when Still’s environs were particularly influential on him. After an eight-week voting period in late 2021, CSM’s associate curator Bailey Placzek arranged the pieces that received the most votes on the walls of five of the Museum’s galleries.

“As the culminating exhibition of our tenth anniversary year, we knew it was essential to involve the Museum’s extended community in You Select’s development for several reasons,” says Placzek. “The city of Denver owns our collection, thus mandating that its residents play a central role in its display and stewardship. We wanted to celebrate that unique aspect of our Museum and the community that has embraced us during the last decade. Plus, a central tenet of Still’s art and vision emphasizes the power of the collective over the individual. We are stronger together.”

Designed to foster far-reaching engagement with the collection and encourage visitors to reflect upon their various support systems, exhibition gallery text and interpretive content incorporates participants’ feedback and perspectives to reinforce and illuminate these extended networks. The show will also include an interactive voting feature for visitors to choose their favorite painting after exploring the exhibition.

According to Placzek, some aspects of the exhibition turned out how she had hoped, including the many unseen works chosen for the exhibition. People’s curiosity to see paintings that have been in storage since the artist rolled them up 50 years ago makes sense. Nearly one-third of the works in the show have not been on view previously. However, many selections surprised her. For example, she says she did not anticipate participants’ enthusiasm for PH-124, 1947, which received more votes than any other work in the show. “There were also quite a few options for the last gallery that I was shocked weren’t selected, making that room feel differently than I expected,” says Placzek. “After considering them from a fresh perspective, I have a new sense of appreciation for many paintings. I hope others will, too!”

You Select will be on view from August 19, 2022, to February 12, 2023. The Museum will offer various programs and events during the exhibition run that are free or included with admission. 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, YouTube, or at clyffordstillmuseum.org.

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