Logan Collection

Eric Fischl, Portrait of Vicki and Kent Logan. Oil on linen; 54 x 70 inches. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York, © Eric Fischl.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988, born in Brooklyn, New York), Untitled, 1981. Oil stick on paper. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.691. © Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat started his career as a graffiti artist in the 1970s and quickly evolved into an accomplished Neo-expressionist painter by the ‘80s. Critics celebrated his work’s originality, emotional depth, and unique iconography. In 1985, he was featured on the cover of the New York Times as the quintessential hot, young artist. Although his career was brief, he is considered one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century.

Enrique Martínez Celaya (Cuban, born 1964 in Havana, Cuba; lives and works in Los Angeles and Delray Beach, Florida), The Immigrant, 2005. Bronze. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2011.361. © Enrique Martínez Celaya.

Images of men and boys appear frequently in Enrique Martínez Celaya’s work, where they may function as alter egos. The Immigrant, a cast-bronze sculpture from 2005, may relate to the artist’s own experience. The nude figure, whose legs are truncated at the ankles and whose left hand is missing, stares vacantly into the space before him. He appears young and yet aged by his experience, as a foreigner in a new land and as a child who has left home. Celaya leaves the details of both the figure’s past and future to the imagination of the viewer.

Francesco Clemente (Italian, born 1952 in Naples, Italy; lives and works in Rome, Italy, New York City, and Madras, India), Untitled #1 (Face), 1998. Watercolor on paper. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.698. Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York, © Francesco Clemente.

Francesco Clemente’s art has a singular focus in that it must relate to the human body. For him, it is the starting point for his vibrant inventions in color, form, and feeling. Born in Naples, Clemente embarked on a classical education with a restless spirit that spurred his humanistic impulse to investigate the beliefs of other civilizations. Frequent trips to India confirmed his inclination that body and spirit are inseparable.

Untitled #1 (Face) – one of the museum’s five vivid watercolors by Clemente - focuses on this connection between body and spirit. Here the face takes center stage with the eyes intently returning the viewer’s gaze. Clemente renders a vivid and spontaneous “portrait” that unites the spiritual body as well as the corporeal.

Nicole Eisenman (American, born 1965 in Verdun, France; lives and works in New York City), Airplane, 1996. Oil paint on board on wood panel. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.716. © Nicole Eisenman.

In nearly all her paintings, drawings, and installations, Nicole Eisenman relentlessly, but humorously, explores issues of sexual politics, marking out her territory, as she explains “like a dog peeing on a hydrant.” The star of Airplane is an unnaturally perfect centerfold nude, flaunting the Trans World Airlines emblazoned on her swelling breasts. She and her fellow airplane-women rule the sky; her right finger points down to the darkness below, as if mocking the people who inhabit a lower realm.

Tracey Emin (British, born 1963 in London; lives and works in London), Finding Gold, 1996. VHS videocassette and laserdisc. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.720. ©2012 Tracey Emin, All rights reserved, DACS, London/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Tracey Emin’s art, though often shocking, is rooted in familiar issues: sexuality, mortality, and the search for meaning. Her candid expressions of universal emotions – both awful and wonderful – and her tendency to integrate her personal life into her work encourage a deep, intimate level of engagement with the viewer. The autobiographical super-8 film Finding Gold tells a personal coming-of-age story rich with nostalgia for times past and lost relationships. The “gold” Emin discovers and shares with her viewers is a deeper, more universal truth about growth and human connections.

Antony Gormley (British, born 1950 in London; lives and works in London), Quantum Cloud XIX, 2000. Stainless steel bars. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.738. © Antony Gormley.

Using stainless steel rods, British sculptor Antony Gormley makes sculpture of the body (often his own) to investigate the many aspects of the human condition His Quantum Cloud series departs radically from earlier self-contained male figures cast in lead or modeled from dirt, which spoke of spiritual and physical aloneness. These newer figures seem to be in the process of exploding into the world around them. The seemingly lighter-than-air sculptures belie their actual weight and the painstaking labor that went into welding together hundreds upon hundreds of rods.

Gu Wenda (Chinese, born 1955 in Shanghai, China; lives and works in New York City), Blue Sky, 2000. Chair with upholstery, plastic encased video monitor and woven hair scrim. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2003.964. © Gu Wenda.

Gu strives to transcend cultural divides and address the underlying commonalities of human nature. Using unexpected materials, including fabric woven from human hair collected around the world, and elements of Chinese calligraphy, he creates unexpected and beautiful installations that speak to both cultural misunderstandings and shared experiences. For this work, Gu found a Louis XVI-style French chair in Pennsylvania. He hand-carried it back to his New York studio, where he replaced half of it with a Chinese chair. In place of the seat, he installed a monitor that shows a video, called “Heaven,” of clouds moving across the sky.

Sui Jianguo (Chinese, born 1956 in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China; lives and works in Beijing), Made in China, 2005. Acrylic paint on cast bronze. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2011.357. © Sui Jianguo.

Sui Jianguo finds inspiration from tiny toy dinosaurs mass-produced in China. The artist transforms these cheap, plastic objects into a monumental work of art. The phrase “Made in China”— featured prominently on the dinosaur’s stomach — is a much more ubiquitous term than any single Chinese brand name. Sui Jianguo’s work participates in the politics of high art and consumerism while raising questions about what has value, who is selling, and who is buying.

Barbara Kruger (American, born 1945 in Newark, New Jersey; lives and works in New York City and Los Angeles), Untitled (It's our pleasure to disgust you), 1989. Photographic silkscreen on vinyl. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.771. Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, © Barbara Kruger.

Barbara Kruger approaches the issue of women’s oppression by adapting the slick format of consumer-oriented advertisements to convey highly charged messages about women’s role in society. Not surprisingly, she spent nearly a decade at Mademoiselle magazine, absorbing the techniques of “the sell” before turning full-time to her art. In appropriating the photograph of a crucified body wearing a gas mask as a central image, she reminds us of our prurient interest in tabloid gossip — “I’m interested in doubt,” says the artist.

Glenn Ligon (American, born 1960 in the Bronx, New York; lives and works in New York City), Hands (Diptych). 1997. Silkscreen ink on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.776. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles, © Glenn Ligon.

Versed in literature and philosophy, Glenn Ligon often incorporates text in his work to highlight how language defines perception of culture and cultural differences. The artist also uses iconic imagery and sheer scale to tease out these ideas. Hands (Diptych) relies on monumentality — it is 23 feet long — a sea of upstretched hands, and thick black ink for its power. The artist screened an enlarged photo onto canvas, an image taken during the Million Man March in 1995, when thousands of black men of all ages and occupations traveled to Washington, DC to peacefully but urgently challenge the degrading stereotype of the black man in America. The left panel is a poignant testament to the occasion, but the right is a wash of black — simultaneously bringing attention to solidarity as well as to those who were ostracized at the event. Although the march united black men all over the world and challenged racial stereotypes, the march was pointedly unwelcoming to gay black men.

Kent Monkman, The Fourth World, 2012. Acrylic paint on canvas; 59-1/2 x 47-1/2 in. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2014.224. © Kent Monkman.

Ernesto Neto (Brazilian, born 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; lives and works in Rio de Janeiro), Walking in Venus blue cave, 2001. Nylon stocking, Styrofoam, buttons, incandescent lights. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2006.97. © Ernesto Neto.

Ernesto Neto uses hundreds of yards of translucent material as well as foam, fabric, and aromatic spices to construct fantastical, womb-like environments that stimulate and envelop the senses. In Walking in Venus blue cave, monumental, nylon-stocking-like membranes filled with Styrofoam beads or spices such as turmeric and cloves inhabit the gallery space. It is important for the artist that the viewer engages wholly with the work, not just by walking in it, but also by touching it, lying down in it, and even smelling it.

Richard Phillips (American, born 1962 in Marblehead, Massachusetts; lives and works in New York City), Tongue, 1997. Oil paint on linen. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.816. Courtesy of Richard Phillips, Gagosian Gallery, © Richard Phillips.

Richard Phillips draws inspiration for his large photo-realist paintings from photographs of celebrities, which he “humanizes” by recreating the glossy shots in paint on canvas, albeit in hyper-realist, supersized images. Here, he chooses a lascivious gesture photographed from below the model’s face to focus our attention on the difference a change of angle can make to an otherwise polished, glamorized face-shot.

Marc Quinn (British, born 1964 in London; lives and works in London), Jamie Gillespie. 1999. Sculpted marble and plinth. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.842. Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York, © Marc Quinn.

Marc Quinn has said that he aims to make art that is simple, emotionally direct, and without gimmick. He is always looking for the ideas that are appropriate to particular materials. In one notorious work, for instance, he poured eight pints of his own blood into the mold of a human head which was then cryogenically frozen. It is unsurprising that he was one of the Young British Artists who caused such a furor in the art world in the 1990s.

But Quinn is also inspired by more conventional materials, such as marble. Wandering through the Greek and Roman galleries at the British Museum, he watched tourists gazing in awe at the Venus de Milo, supposedly the ideal incarnation of woman, yet who had no arms. The artist wondered how people would react to real amputees in the gallery. For his next series of sculptures, he cast bodies of men and women who were missing limbs, then sent them to Italy to be carved from Carrera marble. The amputee Jamie Gillespie is from that series.

Alan Rath (American, born 1959 in Cincinnati, Ohio; lives and works in Oakland, California), Family, 1994. CRTs, suitcase, handcuffs, chain, fluorescent lamp, and electronics. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.845. © Alan Rath.

Alan Rath channels his technological expertise into making art that asserts the power of the individual in an electronic world. Unlike many technologically-based artists, Rath is a confirmed object-maker whose appealingly awkward creations remind viewers that humans understand the world primarily in terms of the body. The chattering mouths and packed suitcases of Family allude to common, if sometimes uncomfortable experiences and the work is a witty yet sympathetic metaphor for the ties that bind us together.

Neo Rauch (German, born 1960 in Leipzig, Germany; lives and works in Leipzig), Lichtspiele, 1997. Oil paint on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2003.2. © Neo Rauch.

Neo Rauch's paintings combine dreamlike imagery with historical references and memories of growing up in the former East Germany. Though the imagery is recognizable, much of it is odd – even bizarre – and usually abstracted to various degrees. There is no “solution” to decipher meaning in Rauch’s work. He feels a picture is complete when it seems “alive;” when the images connect. Titles are important – he likens them to naming a child. Lichtspiele translates as “light games,” suggesting that the two images on either side are film projectors with a screen between them.

Matthew Ritchie (British, born 1964 in London; lives and works in New York City), Parents and Children, 2000. Duratrans Lambda prints in light box. Gift of Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2006.9. © Matthew Ritchie.

The characters that interact within Matthew Ritchie’s allegorical narratives are codes in a universal language of symbols that he has invented to reflect the “perceptual architecture of the mind.” “Life,” he says, “is as complicated as it appears.”

Parents and Children is made from a variety of materials including paint, markers, Sintra (a Formica-like vinyl material), and a light box. The multi-paneled light box incorporates the luminous effects of digital media with diagrams, text, and swirls of paint reminiscent of organic forms such as bacteria, plant life or animal life, and the forces of the cosmos. Relating to Ritchie’s overarching interest in time, the phrases “folded space-time continuum” and “you may already be a winner” appear in various locations.

Matthew Ritchie (British, born 1964 in London; lives and works in New York City), Parents and Children, 2000. Duratrans Lambda prints in light box. Gift of Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2006.95. © Matthew Ritchie.

The characters that interact within Matthew Ritchie’s allegorical narratives are codes in a universal language of symbols that he has invented to reflect the “perceptual architecture of the mind.” “Life,” he says, “is as complicated as it appears.”

Parents and Children is made from a variety of materials including paint, markers, Sintra (a Formica-like vinyl material), and a light box. The multi-paneled light box incorporates the luminous effects of digital media with diagrams, text, and swirls of paint reminiscent of organic forms such as bacteria, plant life or animal life, and the forces of the cosmos. Relating to Ritchie’s overarching interest in time, the phrases “folded space-time continuum” and “you may already be a winner” appear in various locations.

James Rosenquist (American, born 1933 in Grand Forks, North Dakota; lives and works in Aripeka, Florida), Untitled, 1999. Oil paint on canvas. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.847. ©2012 James Rosenqusit, All rights reserved, DACS, London/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

James Rosenquist’s embrace of crass commercialism, advertising kitsch, and billboard aesthetics placed him at the forefront of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s. Over the years his style has transformed itself multiple times, but certain characteristics remain fairly constant, including: pop imagery, fragmentation, shifting scales, and ambiguous spatial relationships.

In Rosenquist's billboard-sized montage paintings, disparate and contradictory imagery collides. The viewer tries in vain to decipher the ambiguous visual references into a coherent narrative. Yet his work refuses to produce meaning, reveling in a form of postmodern schizophrenia. It is this very ambiguity that makes his work both frustrating and alluring.

Edward Ruscha (American, born 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska; lives and works in Los Angeles), Molten Polyester, 2005. Acrylic paint on canvas. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan and promised gift of Vicki and Kent Logan with additional funds from the Wesley R. Spurry bequest, 2003 Vanderversary Gala, and Museum deaccession funds, in honor of Dianne Vanderlip, 2005.89. © Edward Ruscha.

Edward Ruscha has made a career of juxtaposing words and images without any logical connection to each other and by allowing the words to signify meanings outside of their standard definitions. He loves the “evocative power of words” and does not expect the viewer to interpret his work in any particular way: “I know that viewers of my work looking at an English word are going to try to translate it into a meaning. But often I’d like them to lose the meaning and just look at the word as an abstract jumble. Yet I’m not giving the viewer any guidance as to how to respond. I think the artist should stand by in silence.”

Jenny Saville (with Glen Luchford), (British, born 1970 in Cambridge, England; lives and works in London and Palermo, Italy), Closed Contact #13, 1999-2000. C-print in Plexiglas frame. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.852. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York City, © Jenny Saville.

British artist Jenny Saville is best known for her voluptuous, sensual oil paintings of female flesh, informed by observing surgeons, especially plastic surgeons, performing operations. The work glows in unhealthy tones of green, gray, and pink. Closed Contact #13 is a curious exception. For several months in 1999 and 2000, Saville used her own body as subject matter. Working with fashion photographer Glen Luchford, she pressed her breasts painfully against a pane of glass that Luchford shot from below. The artist was fascinated with the grotesque results but has not repeated the experiment.

Lawrence Weiner (American, born 1942 in South Bronx, New York; lives and works in Amsterdam and New York City), AS TO BE IN PLAIN SIGHT, 2009. Powder-coated aluminum. Gift of Vicki and Kent Logan in honor of Lewis I. Sharp, Denver Art Museum Director, 1989-2009, 2010.383. © Lawrence Weiner.

As a celebrated founding member of the conceptual art movement of the 1970s, Lawrence Weiner employs the immediacy and universality of language to break down the barriers of art-historical precedents by inviting viewers to interpret his work from their own associations and responses – without the weight of historical references. First seen in the exhibition “Embrace!, AS TO BE IN PLAIN SIGHT was installed on the vertiginous wall of the fourth floor, Hamilton Building. Today, it can be viewed as an outdoor work on the south wall of the North Building.

Zeng Fanzhi, Mask Series No. 10, 1998. Oil paint on canvas; 70-1/2 x 78-1/2 in. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2001.888. © Zeng Fanzhi.

In 2000, internationally prominent contemporary art collectors Vicki and Kent Logan established a relationship with the Denver Art Museum (though years earlier Vicki Logan worked at the Denver Art Museum). A year later, the Logans gave the single largest donation in the history of the museum’s modern and contemporary art department.

The Logans' generous patronage has had a profound impact on the museum and on Denver’s larger contemporary art community. Completely aligned with the existing direction of the modern and contemporary department, the works reflect the Logans' global perspective and represent some of the most exciting and groundbreaking work that was created in the 1990s and early twenty-first century.

The Logans were among the first Americans to collect work by contemporary Chinese artists and they now own one of the largest collections of such material in the world. As a result of the Logans' generosity, the museum’s collection reflects important cultural issues of our time, including gender, race, ethnicity, and identity.

Kent Logan explains that the works he and his wife have collected and donated “reflected our belief that art is a mirror of our culture, and that the best of it provides insight into issues that face us as individuals and as a society as a whole.” Museum visitors are treated regularly to rotating exhibitions from the Logan Collection in the Vicki and Kent Logan Gallery located on level four of the Hamilton Building.

The Logans' contributions are felt everywhere in the museum. As part of the 2013 exhibition Material World on level four of the Hamilton Building, the Logans' gift of important works by Lin Tianmiao and Oliver Herring went on display for the first time at the DAM, and their gift of two major works by American Indian contemporary artist Jeffrey Gibson are on exhibit in the DAM's American Indian galleries.

The Logans also generously support other major exhibitions, such as the recent 10-year survey Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels and Sovereign: Independent Voices, which highlighted the work of three leading American Indian contemporary artists Kent Monkman, Rose Simpson, and Virgil Ortiz, who have received international acclaim. Of the works in Sovereign, one installation piece by Kent Monkman and all three sculptures by Rose Simpson were gifted to the DAM, and the Logans generously named 25 artworks by Virgil Ortiz as promised gifts (many of which are currently on view). Also, in 2013 the Logans supported an original performance art piece by Monkman that was then acquired by the DAM. 

Additionally, the Logans continue to support the Logan Lecture Series, which brings important contemporary artists to the museum to talk about their work and engage audiences in stimulating discussion. 

The Logans have donated and promised hundreds of artworks to the Denver Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For further insight into the creation and development of the Logan Collection, please refer to Kent Logan's essay The Logan Collection: A Collector's Philosophy (PDF). Lists of artwork gifts, exhibitions illustrated with installations from the Logan Collection, plus additional essays by museum curators, art critics and academics, are available for viewing in the documents below: