Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938), Moon Radiance, 1927; Watercolor with gum coating on hot pressed off-white wove paper laid down by the artist to 1/5 inch thick wood panel, 23 x 26 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches; Courtesy of Karen and Kevin Kennedy
What It Meant To Be Modern, 1910-1965
American Works on Paper from the Karen and Kevin Kennedy Collection
On View Friday, April 14–Sunday, July 23, 2017
Statement by the curator Julie Augur, Adjunct Curator of Drawings, Modern and Contemporary Art, Denver Art Museum
“The Karen and Kevin Kennedy Collection”
A few years ago Julie Graham invited me to see a modernist collection she and Maria Friedrich curated. I stalled. After the third invite I thought I should probably go, not knowing that when Maria opened the apartment door I would be in Wonderland. Spectacular modernist watercolors, photographs, and paintings unhinged me. And then I was allowed to choose.
These works on paper all share the magic of the modernist movement of the first half of the twentieth century. Where some of the images flirt with abstraction, as seen in Charles Sheeler and John Marin, others experiment with a pulsing sense of nature endowed with an incredible lightness of being, as in Charles Burchfield.
Oscar Bluemner’s pieces glow with mystery and intense color while Stuart Davis gives us a simplified yet powerful view of the landscape with the objects broken down into symbols of themselves on shifting planes of perspective.
These five artists were chosen for the diversity of their art at a time when a new way of exploring an image reflected a new, exciting vision of the world around us.
Thank you Karen and Kevin Kennedy.