Denver’s Art in the Park
Published: July 24th, 2017
Ever since Chicago unveiled its Picasso in the Chicago Loop, I’ve had a fascination with monumental public art. So on my recent trip to Denver, I was thrilled to encounter an exhibit of striking Calder sculptures set within the gorgeous natural setting of the Denver Botanic Garden. The interplay between sculpture and nature can be provocative or playful, and successful art and its placement can enhance the impact of each. Here are some great examples I found there.
The rich blue hue and slowly moving forms of Calder’s “6 Dots Over a Mountain,” reflect beautifully in a pool of pond lilies. Notice how the color of the sculpture enhances the green pines beyond.
This untitled sculpture of a human form stands rather comically before one of the public buildings in the garden. Again, color transforms the setting. The scale of the piece even feels a bit menacing — evoking what I used to feel about circus clowns!
Calder’s compelling piece, “A Two-Faced Guy” sits perfectly in an open space with a large private home behind it. The contrasting faces connect in the sun a bit like old friends conversing. The sculpture invites others to do the same.
“Funghi Neri” (Black Mushrooms) acts as a focal point and terminus for a long outdoor concourse in the park. The sculpture seems to me like a turtle or crab pausing in the midst of the park to enjoy the beauty of the day.
Nothing is more stunning than the Chihuly piece that the Denver Botanic Garden maintains from a previous exhibit. I’ll leave you with that as a gorgeous example of a glass sculpture seemingly in full bloom, a perfect expression of art in the park.