Page 26 - MODUS NEWS 04
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while the estate and personal works of 20th century Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still were sealed off from public view for three decades following Still’s death, a Colorado museum breathes fresh life into his collection within a structure that is a piece of art unto itself. The 2 600 square meter building is the latest addition to Denver’s Cultural Arts District and provides an ethereal environment of artistic reflection in the midst of a vibrant, bustling city.
Though the solid structure may seem simple at first glance, its depth and complexity allow it to become an extension of Still’s artistic vision. The museum sits inside an insulated grove of deciduous trees. Crafted from concrete, the structure appears to hold visitors to the ground while the details of the building connect them to the sky. Two stories of cantilevered, textured concrete modify and refract light on both the exterior and interior, enabling natural light to illuminate the art displayed throughout nine galleries. Each space responds to the evolving character of Still’s
art, changing in scale, proportion, and intensity of light throughout the museum.
Overhead, an open lattice of concrete unites the body of the building
and offers luminescence and a connection to the atmosphere of the city. Diffusing skylights and shades subtly alter the sunlight as it enters the detailed concrete tracery ceiling, which, when combined with electric lighting, allows the museum’s curators to change the tone of the individual exhibition spaces based on the time of day and the medium of art being displayed. The museum can thus use the beauty of its own design to amplify, rather than distract from, the marvels of the works within.

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