GALLERY M of Denver, hosted a very special speaker series with Clyfford Still curator, Dr. David Anfam. A sold-out group of GALLERY M art collectors and friends were exposed to an important exhibition of Still’s work. Many of the works were curated in one museum space for the first time as part of the theme of Repeat/Recreate: Clyfford Still’s “Replicas.”
Dr. Anfam is the foremost authority on Mark Rothko and leads the process for Clyfford Still’s Research Center. His presentation clearly and concisely delineated the title of the exhibition. He explained why and how the current exhibition was envisioned and executed. Several of the galleries were very ‘lightly’ hung; others, more densely. Dr. Anfam explained that to fulfill the premise of “Replicas” he needed to allow the viewer to understand the concept of the way Still’s creative genius worked.
I found it a bit ironic that one of the most important paintings in “Replica” is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The MET is the very museum, which called Still, Pollock, Rothko and others “irascibles” in the early 1950’s. Yet as much as Still loathed the entire “art machine’, he knew the MET must own his work in its permanent collection.
The Clyfford Still is world class! Its curator, its environment, its collection puts it on a level existing nowhere else in the world. Today, people come to Denver just to experience the Clyfford Still. It is the gold standard in the 20th Century history of Abstract Expressionism. And, no book store, no restaurant, no commercialism per the precise instructions of the artist! Just a nominal admission fee allows you to experience the genius of Clyfford Still.