July 2015: In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism Opens, Celebrate the Biennial of the Americas and Other Highlights

Note: The DAM will be closed on July 4; Free First Saturday will be held on July 11.

Édouard Manet, Flowers in a Crystal Vase, ca. 1882. Oil on canvas, 12-7/8 x 9-5/8 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.37.

On July 19, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will open In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, the centerpiece exhibition for a campus-wide summer celebration of flowers. In Bloom explores the development of 19th-century French floral still-life painting, and features about 60 paintings by world-renowned artists Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and others. The colorful exhibition demonstrates how a traditional genre was reinvented by 19th-century artists. In Bloom follows landmark developments in the French floral still-life genre from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. From early works by masters such as Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the exhibition continues chronologically with paintings by artists including Camille Pissarro, Degas, Renoir and Van Gogh. The exhibition concludes with pieces by Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, who continued the floral still-life tradition as modernism was radically transforming the art world.

In Bloom is co-curated by Dr. Heather MacDonald, Getty Foundation and formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art, and Dr. Mitchell Merling, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and curated locally by Angelica Daneo, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM. On view through Oct. 11, 2015, In Bloom will be a ticketed exhibition, and free for museum members.

Kutluğ Ataman, The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read, installation view Istanbul Modern, 2010. Photo courtesy and ©the artist.

The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read

July 19–Oct. 11, 2015

Complementing In Bloom, The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read is a four-screen video installation by acclaimed filmmaker and contemporary artist Kutluğ Ataman, focusing on an English woman who talks over the course of an entire year about a flower bulb. With over 900 Hippeastrum bulbs in her two-bedroom house, Veronica Read’s obsession with these flowers is all consuming. Masquerading as a documentary about the amaryllis, the work is actually a portrait of a woman wholly devoted to the care of these bulbs, which contain the hope of flowering only once a year.

Alex Worden's installation Lilypads and Petals, 2015

Outside on Martin Plaza

The DAM is partnering with local creatives to design artistic interventions and flower-related programming on the Plaza this summer, thanks to generous funding by the PB and K Family Foundation. Similar to plants that sprout along streams in mountain valleys, design firm Gensler’s Bloom is the main temporary installation. The design team aimed to create three different experiences across the plaza, providing spaces to engage, to sit and learn and to reflect. Bloom includes two artistic interventions, the results of a community open call:

  • Alex Worden’s installation Lilypads and Petals is a large-scale expression of a vase of flowers using macro crochet and irrigation tubing.
  • In Pasture Raised, artist Meredith Feniak pays homage to the Colorado plains and native grasses.


Blooming Chefs: Cooking with Flowers

July 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18, 11 a.m.–noon

Visitors can learn innovative ways to cook with flowers in demonstrations by local chefs on Martin Plaza. This program also will be offered in August. Included in general admission; members and youth 18 and younger free.

Untitled: Fresh Cut

July 31, 6–10 p.m.

In July at Untitled: Fresh Cut, a summer celebrating flowers springs to life as we look at the art of arrangement and flower-focused food. At every Untitled Final Friday event, enjoy offbeat art encounters, community collaborations, unique detours, local music, cash bar, munchies and more. Included with museum admission; youth 18 and younger are free. College students with ID receive 2-for-1 tickets during the event.

Focus on the Lotus and Other Plants in Asian Art

July 22, noon–2 p.m.

Dr. Kathy Keeler, aka the Wandering Botanist, leads an exploration of the plants and flowers found in Asian art. This lecture and tour of the Asian galleries will touch on identification and the meaning of the lotus, chrysanthemum, peony and other important plants in Asian art. Tickets range from $5–$10 and are available at the museum, online or by phone at 720-913-0130. Tour limited to first 25 registrants. Sponsored by the Asian Art Association, a DAM support group.

Why Flowers? Impressionist Artists and the Modern Flower Still Life

July 24, 5:30–6:30 p.m.

Dr. Heather MacDonald, co-curator of In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, will discuss the history of flower painting in France and how it became such a vital and innovative practice in the hands of the impressionists and their contemporaries. Tickets range from $5–$10 and are available at the museum, online, by phone at 720-913-0130, and at the door on a space-available basis. Sponsored by Friends of Painting and Sculpture (FOPAS), a DAM support group.

Artwork by Artesano-in-Residence Graciela Ramírez López. © Graciela Ramírez López.

Artesano-in-Residence Demonstration with Graciela Ramírez López

July 28–July 30, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Drop in with toda la familia to celebrate creativity and cultura with Artesano-in-Residence Graciela Ramírez López. Visit the maestra as she works. As she creates flores de cera (wax flowers), she will share her technique, inspiration and process. All Artesano-in-Residence activities are included with general admission. Confirm times and locations the day of the event.


River of Fundament - A Film by Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler

July 18, 5:3011:30 p.m.

Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1101 13th St., Denver

Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, River of Fundament, 2014, production still, photo: Hugo Glendinning © Matthew Barney, courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Presented by the DAM and Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) in partnership with the Biennial of the Americas (Biennial), River of Fundament combines narrative cinema with elements of sculpture, non-traditional opera and performance. The three-act film is the culmination of seven years of collaboration between artist Matthew Barney and alternative composer Jonathan Bepler, loosely based on Norman Mailer's 1983 novel, Ancient Evenings. Set in pre-Christian Egypt, Mailer's novel elaborately chronicles the seven stages in Egyptian mythology of the soul's departure from the body as it passes from death to rebirth. River of Fundament documents a series of one-time-only live acts performed across the American landscape combined with scenes set in a reconstruction of Mailer's apartment, and features appearances by actors Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti and John Buffalo Mailer, among others.

The six-hour run time includes two intermissions. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-641-1222 or online at axs.com/river ($20, $15 DAM members and CSM members, $10 students). Service fee applies to online ticket purchases. Use code RIVER3 for a $3 discount on tickets. Cash purchases at the Denver Coliseum box office (Saturdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.) are not subject to service fees. To purchase museum member or student tickets at the Coliseum, a valid membership card or student ID is required. Recommended for mature audiences.

Gunther Gerzso, Southern Queen (detail), 1963. Oil paint on Masonite. Courtesy of Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, New York. ©John Michael Gerzso

Gunther Gerzso: A Mexican Master

June 25, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016

In partnership with Museo de las Americas (Museo), the DAM celebrates the Mexican modernist master Gunther Gerzso (1915−2000). The DAM highlights some of the artist's extraordinary paintings from 1960−1981 while the Museo offers a rich selection of his works on paper in Gunther Gerzso: A Mexican Master. Drawing inspiration from art history as well as from the Mexican landscape, and using old-master techniques, Gerzso transformed the materials of the painter—“a piece of cloth and a little earth combined with enamel and oil”—into powerful expressions of emotion. Included in museum admission.

Community-driven art project inspired by Aqua-Terra / Terra-Aqua

The DAM also has partnered with the Biennial to feature Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, who has been working to create a community-driven art project that will debut during the opening week of the Biennial, and will then be on view at the DAM through the end of August. Individual panels created by five community organizations will be joined together to create an artwork spanning 12 by 9 feet. Each panel showcases unique cultural environments representing ecological practices, the vulnerability of the environment, recycling and related ideas. The five organizations contributing to the artwork are RedLine, Sent(a)mental Studios, Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, the Denver Indian Center and Social Change through Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver. The design of the community artwork has been inspired by Alvarado’s current installation at the DAM, Aqua-Terra / Terra-Aqua, which highlights colorful and whimsical camouflaged paintings of insects and cut paper made from thousands of recycled paper bags, painted and cut by hand by volunteers in the Denver area.


Conversation with Curator: American Indian Floral Design

July 10, 4 p.m. (postponed from July 3)

Come smell the flowers as curator Nancy Blomberg talks about how American Indian artists embellished much of their artwork with elaborate floral designs. Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators every month. Included in museum admission; no reservations required. Meet at 4 p.m. in the elevator lobby on level 3 of the North Building.

Drop-in Drawing (on the second Tuesday of each month)

July 14, 1–3 p.m.

Join us in Francisco Alvarado-Juárez's Aqua-Terra / Terra/Aqua installation in Precourt Discovery Hall. All experience levels welcome. Bring your own supplies or use one of the museum’s communal sketch pads. Included in museum admission; no reservations required.

Gallery Conversations

July 23, 2-3 p.m.

Slow down and spend time with a single work of art in the DAM galleries. Get a closer look at an artwork from the modern and contemporary collection with DAM Experience & Interpretation Specialist Danielle St. Peter. Discover overlooked details, explore ideas and make connections as we linger, look and discuss. Meet in the first level elevator lobby of the Hamilton Building. Included in museum admission; no reservations required.


Free First Saturday

July 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (postponed from July 4)

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy the museum’s art collections and non-ticketed exhibitions without spending a dime! Be sure to check out some of the DAM’s many family and kid-friendly activities. Free museum admission tickets available on-site starting at 10 a.m. (Special exhibition ticket required for In Bloom.)

CelebrARTE on Free First Saturdays

July 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (postponed from July 4)

At CelebrARTE on Free First Saturdays, enjoy bilingual fun for everyone, with a 2 p.m. Collection Highlights tour in Spanish, Create-n-Takes and a new storytelling program. Cuentistas tell the tales of artworks through music, movement and art during Cuentos del Arte with stories para todos—for everyone—at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Create Playdate: Bamboozled

July 8, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, to create art, read stories and play art games in the galleries, but don't get bamboozled by the art! Included with museum admission; youth 18 and younger are free. No reservations required.

Summer Hours for Family Fun

Through Aug. 21

Check out Family Backpacks and Art Tubes every day at the Family Activity Cart on the first level of the Hamilton Building. Explore the galleries with a Family Backpack full of artmaking, games and puzzles. Short on time? Grab an Art Tube instead. Create-n-Takes are available Tuesday-Friday. These facilitated in-gallery activities inspire visitors of all ages to discuss, roll up their sleeves and get creative. Three new Create-n-Takes are available this summer to complement our flower celebration, including The Language of Flowers. On level 4 of the North Building, visit an immersive Mexican courtyard garden created from paper, tissue and felt and craft your own floral message. Included in museum admission; no reservations required.

Media Resources

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit denverartmuseum.org.