July 2016: Rhythm & Roots Featured During Summer of Dance!, Lectures and Programs Highlight Women of Abstract Expressionism and Other Highlights

Opening July 10 at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art explores the influences, evolution, and distinct traditions of dance in America, portraying dances ranging from American Indian dances to ballet, the Charleston to Spanish flamencos. About 90 paintings, photographs, sculptures and costumes relating to American dance from 1830 to 1960 will be on view.

Rhythm & Roots examines how dance moved to the public stage, showing new American dances, dance in the club and artists’ historic fascination with and depiction of performers. Paintings depict iconic American dancers such as Isadora Duncan, Katherine Dunham, Fred Astaire and Josephine Baker, as well as Spanish dancer Carmencita Dauset Moreno and Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), Carmencita, 1890. Oil on canvas; Framed: 80 ½ x 50 ¾ x 4 ¼ in. (204.5 x 128.9 x 10.8 cm.) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Sir William Van Horne, 1906.

Rhythm & Roots also explores the interaction between visual artists, dancers and choreographers. Works by artists such as Isamu Noguchi and Andy Warhol highlight collaborations with acclaimed dancers such as Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Video, music and interactive spaces help bring dance and performance to life in the galleries, while a richly illustrated exhibition catalog featuring essays by art historians and dance specialists will be available in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum and online. Rhythm & Roots will be on view through Oct. 2 and is included in museum admission.

William H. Johnson (American, 1901-1970), Jitterbugs (II), about 1941. Oil on paperboard; 24 x 15 3/8 in. (61 x 39.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.611

Explore movement through several other exhibitions during the summer of Dance! All are included in museum admission. #DanceatDAM #DenverBaila

#dancelab, a creative dance installation created by local artistic dance partners Wonderbound and creative firm Legwork Studio. This immersive, participatory movement experience focuses on celebrating American dance and deconstructs the dance experience to make it accessible to all.

Performance on Paper: The Posters of Phil Risbeck and John Sorbie features the graphic works of internationally acclaimed Colorado designers Phil Risbeck and the late John Sorbie. Thirty posters from the 1960s to the 1990s, which announced performances at Colorado State University, showcase expressive techniques, energetic imagery and restrained typography.

The multi-sensory exhibition, Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion, presents the motives behind Native American dance and features about 86 works, including 78 drawn from the DAM’s American Indian art collection.


Free First Dance on the Plaza

July 2, 13 p.m.

Join us for a dance spectacular featuring 20 different dance groups on four stages outside the museum. Enjoy performances by Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers, Ritmos de Mi Peru Folk Dance Group, Flamenco Denver, Gabriela Tango, Tap Dance Denver and Hellenic Dance Academy, among others. Full performance schedule available here. The Plaza program is generously funded by the PB and K Family Foundation.

The Art of American Dance

July 8, 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Jane Dini, associate curator of Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presents her research for Dance: American Art. The first major traveling exhibition to explore American visual art inspired by dance from 1820–1960, it is presented in Denver as Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art. Included in museum admission. First-come seating; doors open at 10 a.m. Sponsored by Friends of Painting and Sculpture, a DAM support group.

Drop-in Drawing: Drawing in Motion

July 12, 1-3 p.m.

Using the multi-sensory exhibition Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion as inspiration, participants will draw the art of human movement. All experience levels welcome. Use one of our communal sketch pads or bring your own supplies. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Drop-in Drawing: Rhythm in Words

July 26, 1–3 p.m.

This month is all about poetic form—often a kind of ‘dance’ with words. In Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art explore some of those forms and then try them out, including (perhaps) the sonnet, triolet, pantoum and more. All experience levels welcome, bring your own supplies or use one of our notebooks. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Untitled: In-Sync

July 29, 6–10 p.m.

Gather your crew and band together for a night of synchronized moves and creative collaborations, including a special 7 p.m. performance on the plaza by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. Produced with local creatives, Untitled Final Fridays is the museum's monthly late night program featuring workshops, performances and tours with a twist. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. College students with valid ID receive 2-for-1 admission. Untitled Final Fridays are presented by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores.


Women of Abstract Expressionism

Through Sept. 25, 2016

The groundbreaking Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibition celebrates the often unknown female artists of this mid-20th-century art movement. Organized by the DAM, Women of Abstract Expressionism was curated by Gwen Chanzit, the museum's curator of modern art. More than 50 major paintings are on view at the DAM, created by artists working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and ’50s, including Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Jay DeFeo, Sonia Gechtoff, Judith Godwin, Mary Abbott, Perle Fine, Grace Hartigan, Deborah Remington and Ethel Schwabacher.

The first presentation of works by these female artists together at one time, Women of Abstract Expressionism focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism, while revealing inward reverie and painterly expression in these works by individuals responding to particular places, memories and life experiences. An illustrated catalog is available in The Shops at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition is included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. #WomenofAbEx

Lee Krasner, The Seasons, 1957. Oil and house paint on canvas, 92-3/4 × 203-7/8 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Frances and Sydney Lewis by exchange, the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee 87.7. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins. © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Women of Abstract Expressionism-related programming

Conversation with a Curator: Women of Abstract Expressionism

July 8, 4 p.m.

Explore Women of Abstract Expressionism with curator Gwen Chanzit. Meet in the elevator lobby on level 4 of the Hamilton Building. Conversations with Curators feature lively discussion with different curators on the first Friday of the month. Included in museum admission; no reservations are needed.

Women of Abstract Expressionism in Context lecture series)

Celebrate the women who helped forge abstract expressionism—the first fully American modern art movement—and reassess the role of women painters within this movement that has been customarily defined by heroic male painters. The Clyfford Still Museum and the DAM present a series of co-sponsored talks around this groundbreaking exhibition.

  • July 13: Norman Kleeblatt; Action Abstraction: The Critics, the Artists and the New York School
  • July 27: Erika Doss, Not Just a Guy’s Club: Gender Dynamics and Women Painters in the American 1950s

All lectures are at 6:30 p.m. in Sharp Auditorium on the lower level of the Hamilton Building. Pre-lecture viewing of Women of Abstract Expressionism at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for each lecture are $12–$15; free for college students. Visit tickets.denverartmuseum.org or call 720-913-0130.


Movement Studio and Weekend Creative Demonstrations

Daily through Oct. 9

Explore how artists express and are inspired by movement through different mediums and techniques. The studio will include three hands-on activity areas to explore and experiment with motion in unique ways and will feature demonstrations by local creatives each weekend during a summer celebrating movement and Dance!

July Demonstration Schedule

July 2–3: Rudi Monterroso Tracing Rhythm, Painting through Dance

July 9–10 & 16–17: Laura Krudener Poured Action Painting

July 23–24 & 30–31: Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr. Organically Inspired Digital Design & Fabrication

The Movement Studio is generously supported by The Robert & Judi Newman Family Foundation.

Photograph courtesy of Carlos Frésquez.

Cuatro [4]: A Series of Artist Interactions Carlos Frésquez

View Installation in Progress: July 7 and 8, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Meet the Artist: July 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Over the next year, Cuatro [4]: A Series of Artist Interactions will feature four local artists and creatives who will bring the DAM’s pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art collections to life. The first, Carlos Frésquez, will be featured in July. Stop by level 4 of the North Building to see his work, talk with him and participate in his project. Cuatro[4]: A Series of Artist Installations is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Insider Moment with Carlos Frésquez

July 22, 5:30–6 p.m.

Join artist Carlos Frésquez for an off-the-cuff chat about his installation for Cuatro [4]: A Series of Artist Interactions. We’ll go wherever the conversation takes us! Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free.

Native Arts Artist-in-Residence: Powwow Regalia Studio

Through Sept. 18

Coinciding with Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion and the DAM’s 2016 Friendship Powwow, five artists from the Denver community will be in residence for two weeks each, focusing on regalia for different Powwow dances. Each artist will have open studio hours 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Thursdays–Sundays, on level 3 of the North Building during their residency.

July Artists-in-Residence

  • Alistair Bane, Men’s Straight Dance: July 7–17
  • Verla Howell, Men’s Fancy Feather Dance: July 21–31


Anderman Photography Lecture Series: Toby Jurovics: Timothy H. O’Sullivan—Photographing American Facts

July 8, 7 p.m.

Timothy H. O’Sullivan was arguably the most accomplished photographer working in the 19th century American West, yet the meaning and intent of his images has been questioned and contested by historians and critics. Toby Jurovics, Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art at Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, investigates O’Sullivan’s work for the geologic surveys led by Clarence King and George M. Wheeler, and his ongoing influence on landscape photography. On Desert Time: Landscape Photographs by O'Sullivan & Bell, 1871-1874, is on view at the DAM through Jan. 8, 2017. Tickets are $5-$15.

Mindful Looking: Japanese Landscape Scrolls

July 19, 1–1:45 p.m. (offered on the third Tuesday of every month)

Join interpretive specialist Sarah Magnatta for a meditative viewing experience of three Japanese landscape scroll paintings. Mindful Looking invites visitors to slow down and spend time with a work of art, discovering overlooked details, exploring ideas and making connections. Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Later the Same Evening (a one-act opera)

July 30, 7–9 p.m.

Inspired by Edward Hopper’s classic American paintings, this one-act opera—written by contemporary composer John Musto—reveals the hope, longing and love of characters in five Hopper paintings as they step out of their frames and come to life one night in 1932 New York. Before the performance, Gwen Chanzit, DAM’s curator of modern art, will share insights into the artistry of Edward Hopper, touching on the artworks involved in Later the Same Evening. Lecture at 7 p.m.; performance at 8 p.m. The opera will be performed in English by members of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Tickets at centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.


Free First Saturday / CelebrARTE at Free First Saturdays

July 2, 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! Be sure to check out some of the DAM’s many family-friendly activities. Free museum admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. Free First Saturday is made possible by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

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

Summer Schedule for Family Fun

Through Aug. 19

Create-n-Takes are available in the galleries for summer fun Tuesday–Friday from 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m., and on Free First Saturdays in July and August. The Family Activity Cart is out every day the museum is open. Check out a Family Backpack and explore the galleries! Outside on Martin Plaza Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., make your own ribbon ring inspired by In Motion: An Outdoor Installation. All activities are included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

In Motion: An Outdoor Installation

Create Playdate: Swish

July 13, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, to create art, read stories and play art games. In July, swish, whoosh, snap and find music in movement! Included in museum admission; youth 18 and younger free. No reservations required.

Note: This is an overview of July happenings and does not include all exhibitions, events and programs available at the DAM this month. Please visit the museum website for complete information.

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.

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