20th Century Masters on Display

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Featuring a wide array of paintings by Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, van Gogh, and more, the Modern Masters exhibit is truly gorgeous.

Featuring a wide array of paintings by Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, van Gogh, and more, the Modern Masters exhibit is truly gorgeous. Beyond the doors to the exhibit is not only a gallery, it is also the evolution of 20th century painting. The paintings are arranged chronologically so you can see the evolution of the artistic movements, each style becoming more and more modern.

The Modern Masters exhibit first presents the post impressionists. They experimented with colors and brush strokes to create mood. “The Old Mill,” by van Gogh, is a painting where you can observe such heavy brush strokes, thick paint, and bright colors. Following the post impressionists were the cubists, who tried to capture time rather than a single image. Balla’s “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” captures a dog and its owner as if they are running in place. Then there were the surrealists. They created their own reality, also known as dreamscapes. One example is Dali’s “The Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image,” which leaves a lot open for interpretation because it departs from reality, with nothing quite as it seems.

After the surrealists were the abstract expressionists. They attempted to directly speak to the sub-conscious rather than portraying an event. Pollock’s Convergence has no center point, leaving your eyes to wander almost endlessly. Finally were the pop artists. They would take every day objects, and they would transform them into art. Warhol’s 100 cans features a can of soup repeated… Well, repeated 100 times!

I really liked the Modern Masters exhibit because it was a very different experience for me. Although the main media is painting, there are some sculptures and hybrid sculpture/paintings. This was also the first joint exhibition with the Clyfford Still museum, so they also added one of Still’s abstract expressionist works in as well. I think that everybody should come, but as a word of caution, there are some painted nude women. The Modern Masters exhibit is located in the Hamilton building of the Denver art Museum and continues March 2 – June 8.