This past Tuesday, the Contemporary Forum and Bentley Galleries brought in Clyfford Still Museum Director Dean Sobel to the monthly Tuesday Night Lecture at the Phoenix Art Museum. Sobel ttalked about the life and influence of Still’s work and also gave a primer on abstract impressionism and Still’s contemporaries such as Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko.

Here is a short excerpt of that talk:

In the talk, Sobel posits that Still is the most important artist of the early abstract impression movement but is not as well know because of his refusal to “commercialize” his art. His refusal was so absolute that in his very simple will, he stated that his collection be given to a city that would build a museum which would house his works exclusively.

Denver was the city that stepped up and accepted the challenge and the collection. The Clyfford Still Museum is being build right next to Daniel Libeskind’s Hamilton Building. We will have a full story about the new museum, scheduled to be completed late 2010, in the coming weeks.

I had an opportunity to see a Clyfford Still show at the Denver Art Museum a couple years ago. I had no idea who he was at the time but his work made a very big impression on me. I’ve seen more of his work at MoMA and The Met in NYC. I look forward to the Museum opening in Denver and plan on spending at least a day in the museum absorbing Stills work.