Focus: Earth and Fire: Works by Vance Kirkland

Denver Art Museum (Chambers and Grant Gallery, Hamilton Building - Third floor)

Opening February 26, 2011

  • Curated by Gwen Chanzit
Vance Kirkland - 4 Suns in Space - 1971; photo by Ken Hamel/

While the Kirkland Museum is of course chock full of works by patron saint and raison d'être Vance Kirkland, it is also an intimate space and not necessarily the best venue for taking in Kirkland's larger works. If you missed the excellent Kirkland retrospective at the Colorado Springs FAC last year, don't miss out on the chance to see a mini-review featuring some of Kirkland's signature pieces currently on display at the Denver Art Museum (3rd floor of the Hamilton Building, see pix below).

I recently picked up an interesting book on Op Art "Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s" and although the hefty catalog is overflowing with wonderful images from Op Art masters such as Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely and Julian Stanczak, I was shocked and disappointed that Kirkland doesn't appear in even so much as the book's index which is an unacceptable oversight given his unarguable command of 3D perception, depth and color. Perhaps the curators where unable to ascertain a piece for the accompanying exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, or maybe it was the fact that his strongest Op pieces were a few years after the mid to late 60s climax of the genre, but I certainly hope it wasn't from lack of knowledge of one of the masters of painting whose decades long career unequivocally touches and adds to the definition of Op Art. - KLH

photos by Ken Hamel/

Denver Art Museum

100 W 14th Ave
Denver, CO 80204