I wrote a paper on Daniel Libeskind back when his design for the new wing at the Victoria & Albert Museum was still in planning, being ridiculed in every newspaper for looking like a crumpled-up piece of paper, and a model in a plastic exhibit case. It was a paper for my thesis at Christie’s Education in London, and I think I failed it, and they told me to go to Hollywood to be a screenwriter, but nonetheless, I loved following the project and have had a soft spot for Libeskind’s work ever since.
I was in Denver last September and I had a free spot in my wedding-guest schedule where I was able to spend some time alone in the Art Museum. The Frederic C. Hamilton wing that Libeskind designed is to reflect the countless angles of the Rocky’s and the different light they capture at different times of the day. For me, what I loved about Libeskind’s work in London is the sharp contrast of his deconstructive architecture with the old buildings surrounding it, and, what I love about the new wing at the Denver Art Museum, is his work in contrast to the Old West paintings it houses. When I walked in, I wasn’t sure what I would see, I guess one assumes they will see modern art in a modern building, but I was pleasantly surprised to find American western art. I really learned a lot by coming here. To my surprise, when I saw the first few western paintings, I thought “Aha! Of course! We are in the heart of where the Old West started!”, and it just popped and made sense in a really great way.
Once inside, you can’t but appreciate the color the artists encapsulate, the incredible portraits of the adorned Native Americans; and help but feel astounded by the good taste and world class culture in the heart of Colorado. My walk through the collection ended so soon, it just stopped, and that was it. My theory is that the Deconstructive architecture didn’t leave enough wall space to hold art! Maybe it is perfect for our attention-deficit culture, anything longer and more thorough might be too much! It was a perfect size for my visit, I didn’t have more than 30 minutes to spare, and it took about that much time to walk through. It still didn’t detract from my enjoying the space.
It was a great way to go to a wedding of two Native Denver-ites, I learned a lot about their culture and home, and also learned from the party guests just how proud they are to have this “piece” in their city, I would be too. I highly recommend stopping here if ever in Denver.