Vance Kirkland (1904-1981) was an extraordinary modernist who moved to Denver in 1929 to become the founding Director of the University of Denver School of Art. Since that time, he has become one of the most celebrated artists to ever reside here.
For the first half of his painting career Kirkland was a watercolorist and his painted scenes from nature bring forth the vitality of the earth and its timeless landscape. Later, Kirkland moved on to experiment with new materials and techniques-including his much-praised exploration in 1953, of the possibilities of mixing water with oil paint to achieve glowing abstract surfaces.
His space environments, from the last half of his career, do not come from scientific data or the telescope; they are his own brilliant abstractions of the sublime energy of universal forces-- heat, fire, exploding stars, and the great mysteries of space.