On a recent trip I visited the Denver Art Museum, designed by Studio Libeskind. I first encountered the architecture of Daniel Libeskind at the Jewish Museum Berlin where the building's acute, jogging form combined with dramatic interiors and narrative-based circulation to leave a lasting impression. Libeskind's Denver Art Museum extension uses a related formal language and materiality to generate exploding shards protruding above the city street and surrounding plaza. The fractured exterior resembles a shear titanium cliff, forcing the eye up and out.
I've been a fan of Gabriel Dawe's work since he installed Plexus No. 25 at CAM Raleigh in 2014. In Mi Tierra Dawe's Plexus no. 36 follows a similar formula, this time incorporating a double spectrum of color, heightening the visual kinetics of the installation and increasing it's tendency for spatial distortion. As you approach, the thread gradient tricks the eye, bright colors seeming to shift and flicker as you inch closer.
Another standout installation, Dmitri Obergfell's Federal Fashion Mart was my first encounter with the artist's work. As I made my way through the museum, a harsh, blue fluorescent glow defied the usual careful lighting. Here, Obergfell created a rehashed Mexican market stall complete with an alter to the skeletal Santa Muerte, the popular though forbidden saint of death, chrome car bumpers, and numerous praying hands adorned with extreme stick-on nails. Installed and staged exquisitely, it transports you fully into a world of religious iconography and consumer culture.
On the way out I went through one final, exceptional exhibition: Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford.
Bradford's earth-toned works are made with collaged layers of black and white paper treated with bleach and water to bring out varying colors, then reworked with a grinder to dig into the accumulated layers of material exposing new surfaces. The resulting large-scale pieces, textured and intricate, reminded me of an active construction site peeling away layers of a city, or a seasoned bulletin board, well-worn with old news still visible below the surface.