Denver Art Museum
November 14, 2009 – April 4, 2010
This November, the Denver Art Museum will present Embrace!, an exhibition of unique site-specific installations in the museum’s Daniel Libeskind-designed Frederic C. Hamilton Building. Featuring 17 new works in a range of media, Embrace! marks one of the largest exhibitions of site-specific commissions in a U.S. museum, including never-before-seen works from Katharina Grosse, El Anatsui, Shinique Smith, Matthew Brannon, Jessica Stockholder, Lawrence Weiner and Tobias Rehberger, among others.
Working with Christoph Heinrich, DAM’s deputy director and Mark and Polly Addison curator of modern and contemporary art, each artist has chosen a particular space in which to realize and exhibit an individual work. With projects ranging from Katharina Grosse’s four-story spray painting in the museum’s atrium to a multimedia presentation by Charles Sandison, the exhibition introduces an extraordinary dialogue between the art and the building’s architectural elements. Embrace! is organized by the Denver Art Museum and will be on view throughout the Hamilton Building November 14, 2009 to April 4, 2010.
“To realize 17 new works from such a talented list of artists is quite spectacular,” Heinrich said. “The artists are excited by the opportunity to work in an engaging and sculptural environment, and each has presented a very individual way to embrace the unique spaces inside the museum and communicate with the architecture. We look forward to seeing how their work will transform the museum and connect visitors with living, breathing artists.”
DAM has commissioned works from an international list of artists, ranging in age from early-30s to mid-70s, with projects encompassing painting, sculpture, drawing, new media, and interactive works. The full list of Embrace! artists includes: El Anatsui (Nigeria/Ghana), Kristin Baker (U.S.), Matthew Brannon (U.S.), Rick Dula (U.S., Denver), Katharina Grosse (Germany), Christian Hahn (Germany), Nicola López (U.S.), John McEnroe (U.S., Denver), Rupprecht Matthies (Germany), Tobias Rehberger (Germany), Charles Sandison (Finland/U.K.), Dasha Shishkin (U.S./Russia), Shinique Smith (U.S.), Jessica Stockholder (U.S.), Timothy Weaver + eMAD (U.S., Denver), Lawrence Weiner (U.S.) and Zhong Biao (China).
The Denver Art Museum will present programming throughout Embrace! designed to break down traditional barriers between the artist and visitor. The museum has engaged the artists to develop and install their work throughout the Hamilton Building beginning this August, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to participate in the art-making process and witness the creation of influential contemporary works. One particularly interactive installation by Denver artist Timothy Weaver will be a collaboration with university students, combining a visual, audio and spatial experience that will respond and change as each visitor moves through the space.
“As we continue to explore the role of the artist in the museum setting, we have organized what promises to be an engaging and unexpected exhibition,” said DAM Director Lewis Sharp. “We are thrilled to be able to invest in new works and bring such a diverse and important group of contemporary artists to our community.”
Projects include a hyper-realistic, true-to-scale painting, created by Denver artist Rick Dula, which appears to penetrate the building and peel back the interior to expose the steel girders and underpinnings of the Hamilton Building.
Renowned conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner’s sculptural wall installation will be mounted on a dramatic wall atop the 120-foot atrium. Perhaps the most visible and expansive installation, by Katharina Grosse, will feature airbrush painting that spans the four-story atrium and is visible from every floor.
Embrace! will inspire classes, lectures and programming tied to the exhibition and its artists. Interpretive materials and educational programs will provide audiences with the artists’ perspective on the creative process and a personal interpretation of their works, as well as documentation of the installation process.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a two-volume catalogue, the first of which will include two essays on the history of installation art and the curatorial premise of Embrace!, as well as an introduction to each of the 17 participating artists. The second volume will document the commissions as they are realized in the museum, from concept through installation, and the artists’ perspectives on the final works. The first volume of 120 pages will be available Nov. 14; the second volume of 140 pages will be developed and produced as the works are finalized this fall.
Embrace! is organized by the Denver Art Museum.
A special thank you to Kent and Vicki Logan and to the individual patrons of Embrace! who have sponsored the work of these artists. Support is provided by Accenture, the Denver Art Museum’s Technology Partner. Additional funding is provided by Avanade Inc., the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, and the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign. Promotional support is provided by The Denver Post, CBS4 and 5280 Magazine.