On view at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) through September 29, Figure to Field: Mark Rothko in the 1940s traces the development of Rothko's work during the most critical decade of his career. Drawn primarily from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.—the largest repository of Rothko's work anywhere in the world—the exhibition includes many rarely seen paintings, drawings and watercolors.
Figure to Field traces Rothko's decade-long journey from figurative paintings through surrealism and to his classic color field paintings—the signature compositions of softly lit rectangular fields that have the capacity to transport viewers to meditative states. The color field paintings are the works on which his stature as one of the most famous American painters of the post-war period rests. To provide a broader context for Rothko's development, the exhibition also includes works by other celebrated abstract expressionists such as Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock, who shared Rothko's search toward total abstraction. The exhibition is included in general admission.
An Evening Celebrating Mark Rothko
The weekend-long celebration kicks off with an evening celebrating Mark Rothko as the DAM and the Clyfford Still Museum join together to present a program beginning with a lecture by Harry Cooper, curator of modern art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. After the lecture, visitors can explore Figure to Field and enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres. The evening concludes with a performance of The Rothko Room, an original piece for piano, composed and performed by Washington D.C.-based musician Haskell Small. Tickets are $12–24. For details, visit the museum website or call 720-913-0130.
A Weekend Celebrating Mark Rothko: Chamber Theater performance of John Logan's Red
September 21, 1 p.m. (doors open at 12:15 p.m.), and September 22, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.)
The weekend continues as Curious Theatre Company and the DAM present chamber theater performances of John Logan's Red. The winner of six Tony Awards including Best Play, Red is set in the late 1950s as Mark Rothko struggles to complete his commissioned Seagram Murals for the Four Seasons in New York City. The play invites you to look into the art, the sacrifice and the exhilaration of painting, daring you to leave unmoved. Tickets are $15–$22. A special weekend package (including Friday night and one performance of Red) is available for DAM Contemporaries, CultureHaus and DAM members only. For tickets or to join, visit the museum website or call 720-913-0130.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Cooke-Daniels Memorial Lecture Fund, DAM Contemporaries, the Clyfford Still Museum and CultureHaus.
Spun Programming in August
Complementing Spun: Adventures in Textiles, on view through September 22, the DAM presents an array of programming that encourages visitors to explore the vibrant medium of textiles through a drop-in Quilt Studio, curator talks, the Institute For Figuring's Crochet Coral Reef Project, demonstrations and a pop-up dye garden.
Crochet a Piece for the Denver Satellite Reef
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (through September 22)
Join the Institute For Figuring's Crochet Coral Reef Project and learn how to crochet your own reef creations at weekend workshops. Add your own piece to this collaborative work. Free with general admission; no registration required.
Conversations with Curators
August 2, 4 p.m. — Irresistible: Multicolored Textiles from Asia with Ronald Otsuka
August 16, 4 p.m. — Material World with William Morrow
August 30, 4 p.m. — Common Threads with Micah Messenheimer
Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of every month. Additional Conversations with Curators are being scheduled this summer as part of Spun. Free with general admission; reservations are not required.
Cover Story Tactile Tables
August 10, 2–4 p.m.
The tactile tables are an opportunity for blind and low vision visitors to experience Cover Story, the inaugural show for the new textile art galleries, in a hands-on way. Objects featured in Cover Story mirror the diverse geographical areas and range of textiles found in the DAM's permanent collection. Enter through the North Building lobby. Free with general admission, but reservations are appreciated. The program will be offered again on September 14.
Drop-In Lace Demonstration
August 16, 6–8 p.m.
Local artisans from the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild will demonstrate a variety of lace techniques in the level six Thread Studio in the North Building. Visitors can watch and ask questions as they work, or try their own hand at bobbin lace. Free with general admission; reservations are not required.
PreVIEW Open Window
Thursdays through September 26, 12:30–2:30 p.m.
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how DAM staff prepares works of art for display. For two hours on a weekly basis, visitors can observe and interact with conservation and other staff as they assess, handle and treat objects from the textile art collection.
Quilt Studio and Weekend Demonstrations
Every day in the Quilt Studio, visitors can explore the innovative world of contemporary quilting and immerse themselves in the creative process while weekend demonstrations by local artists provide a behind-the-scenes look at quilting practices.
August schedule: Saturdays & Sundays, noon–3 p.m.
- August 10 and 11: Rita Meyerhoff — crazy quilting
- August 24 and 25: Hari Walner — continuous line quilting
- August 31 and September 1: Deana Harragarra Waters — Native American quilting
Untitled #60 (Signature)
August 30, 6–10 p.m.
At Untitled #60 (Signature), find out how artists make their mark and learn how to separate the facts from the fakes. Get your offbeat art fix, pick up a creative skill and convene with movers and makers. Untitled is included with general admission, which is two-for-one with valid student ID during the event. Untitled is sponsored by Macy's Foundation and made possible through citizen support of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
CultureHaus BASH: A Night in Havana
August 15, 6–9 p.m.
A warm tropical breeze is making its way from the beaches in Cuba to the DAM for the annual CultureHaus BASH. Guests are invited to experience the sounds, sights and flavors of a hot Havana night. Sample tropical drinks provided by Montanya Rum and Mile High Spirits while swaying to rhythmic Latin sounds playing in the background. Following BASH, the fun moves on to La Rumba for a Cuban-inspired after party. So grab your tickets, strap on your salsa shoes and let CultureHaus whisk you away for a night in paradise. Tickets are $30 for CultureHaus members; $45 for non-members. Visit the museum website or call 720-913-0130 for tickets.
Family Fun in August
Free First Saturday
August 3, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy the museum's art collections and non-ticketed exhibitions without spending a dime! Free general admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
August 11, 10 a.m.–noon
Families with little ones are invited to join us for Totspot Sunday on the second Sunday of every month. Watch Buntport Theater perform in the galleries, then check out all of the other museum activities available for families. Included with general admission; children 5 and younger are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call 720-913-0130.
Create Playdate: Spin
August 14, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Drop in on the second Wednesday of August with your 3- to 5-year-olds. Mix and spin colors together to see what happens. Hear a story in the gallery and have fun with other tots and their grown-ups. Create Playdates are included with general admission; children 5 and younger are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-913-0130.
August 18, 1–4 pm
¡Bienvenidos a CelebrARTE! Bring toda la familia and drop in to DAM's monthly bilingual program. It's summer and it's time for a Fiesta. Make festive decorations with a master artist, and get ready to party with our CelebrARTE comunidad. All CelebrARTE activities are included with general admission; children 5 and younger are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, call 720-913-0054.
Summer Schedule Ends August 23 for Family Activity Cart, Create-n-Takes
The DAM's popular Family Backpacks and Art Tubes will return to their usual weekend schedule after August 23. Family Backpacks and Art Tubes can be checked out free of charge at the Family Activity Cart. Create-n-Takes are in-gallery activities available Tuesday–Friday through August 23 and weekends from 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m. beginning August 24. Create-n-Takes inspire visitors to discuss, imagine and get creative. Look for the signs or ask at the welcome center for locations. Every day the museum is open, visit the Just for Fun Family Center and Kids Corner or try some of our many in-gallery games.