The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is presenting the exhibition “All Stars: American Artists from The Phillips Collection,” on view through March 3, 2024. This exhibition features key works from Washington, D.C.-based The Phillips Collection, one of the most celebrated collections of American art in the U.S. All Stars encompasses more than 140 years of unexpected visual conversations between American artists about what connects us as humans by artists including Benny Andrews, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and many more.
This landmark show features 75 masterworks by 56 artists and traces American art from the birth of the modernist spirit at the end of the 19th century through post-war American painting in the mid-20th century and into the 21st century, with artists exploring important issues today. “All Stars: American Artists from The Phillips Collection” is the second large-scale, traveling presentation of the Phillips’s celebrated collection to be shown at the DAM, chronicling the broad scope of its holdings.
“Since opening in 1921, the Phillips has been an active champion of American art, lifting up artists who followed their own vision, regardless of fashionable styles and schools. This thoughtful selection of American art celebrates some of the best of American art in the last 150 years,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum. “This is an exciting presentation of American treasures and we look forward to presenting them during the winter holiday season next year.”
Founded by Duncan Phillips in 1921, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., opened to the public in 1921 as America’s first museum of modern art. Phillips assembled much of his collection by supporting living artists, often buying a representative selection of their work. Phillips did not collect artworks or develop his collection in terms of historical art movements but was rather interested in artists responding to the universality of the human condition and the role of art as a source of wellness, connection, and public good.
All Stars celebrates important standard-bearers of America’s modernist spirit, highlights exciting new voices, and draws fascinating parallels to the DAM’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary art. “The artworks in the exhibition range from the 19th century to 2020 American art,” said Rory Padeken, Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art for the DAM. “The Phillips Collection comprises one of the most significant collections of modern art in the world. Duncan Phillips was a collector ahead of his time in his time and still has much to teach us about how to appreciate, enjoy and collect art.”
In the spirit of Duncan Phillips, who defied art historical convention, the exhibition groups artworks by theme and visual affinities to create unusual and surprising conversations between generations of artists in seven sections: Enchantment, Immersion, Presence, Rhythm + Motion, Contours of Space and Time, and Together, Apart. Each section features an array of artistic approaches to figuration, abstraction, landscape, and still life that respond to the human condition.
A special section will be devoted to four paintings from Jacob Lawrence’s magnum opus “The Migration Series,” which chronicles the exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North following the outbreak of the First World War.
For museum information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org.