Campus & Community

New Myhren Gallery exhibit brings collaboration with Colorado Symphony, Clyfford Still Museum

Madeline Bragg's "Green Hands" is part of the "Learning to See Color" exhibit opening Jan. 14 at the Vicki Myhren Gallery.

Madeline Bragg’s “Green Hands” is part of the “Learning to See Color” exhibit opening Jan. 14 at the Myhren Gallery.

The study of color is vast. The last half-century has brought fundamental changes in the ways we perceive and think about color, raising questions like: “Does color exist, or is it just an artifact of our perception? Is color the same everywhere and for everyone? Can we hear color?”

Learning to See Color,” running Jan. 14 through March 6 at the Vicki Myhren Gallery on campus, explores these questions. A selection of artworks, along with commentary from co-curators and artists, demonstrates how questions about color, while they may have no definite answers, can still serve as primary engines of art.

The exhibition features a portfolio of color studies by Bauhaus master Josef Albers, which are part of the DU collection. They provide a template for the systematic exploration of the emotional content of color. Also on view is a thread spool work by Devorah Sperber and “Night Sight/Night Site,” a commissioned light work by Collin Parson that incorporates manufactured colors and materials.

As with most exhibitions at the Vicki Myhren Gallery, graduate and undergraduate students have been actively involved in lender relations, exhibit design, installation, and development of graphics and interpretive materials for “Learning to See Color.” Collections assistant Kate Woestemeyer (BA ’14) has spent more than 40 hours assisting with the preparation of loan documents. “It’s exciting to watch as the show comes together,” she says, “and it’s satisfying to see the results of many hours spent gathering together this unique group of works.”

A series of events created in conjunction with the exhibit also will examine perceptions of color. On Feb. 25, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will perform at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. CSO assistant conductor Andres Lopera will lead “Learning to Hear Color,” a program demonstrating that art created to be experienced through one sense, such as music, can actually lead to perceptions and feelings experienced through other senses. Composers such as Tchaikovsky, Copland and Beethoven will be featured in an exploration of red, yellow and blue.

As a follow-up to the CSO concert, a symposium at DU on Feb. 26, co-sponsored by the Clyfford Still Museum (CSM), will feature distinguished guest speakers — artists, art historians, critics, and musicians — to explore the language of color. Moderated by Dean Sobel, director of the CSM, the panelists will address inquiries concerning color—one of the most fundamental topics in the arts, and one of Clyfford Still’s primary interests.

Additionally, the Myhren Gallery has collaborated with the Anchor Center for the Blind on an installation of color training technology to allow visitors to experience color through the eyes of the visually impaired.

“The exhibition is a flagship of the season, demonstrating the Vicki Myhren Gallery’s efforts to coordinate with our community partners in the presentation of art,” says Dan Jacobs, director and curator of the Myhren Gallery. “Our goal is to delve into the underpinnings of color, with a particular emphasis on the shifting and elusive quality of the concept. We are describing color in order to help our visitors experience color in a richer and more complex way.”

In addition to the CSO and CSM, exhibition collaborators include Newman Center Presents and the Lamont School of Music. Partnering institutions and entities lending artwork for the exhibition include the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center; the University of Wyoming Art Museum; Modernism, San Francisco; Robischon Gallery; Redline/Denver; the Jim and Julie Taylor Collection, and other private collectors and artists.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. More information.



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