Viewing art can be confusing and displeasing for many students. Modern art especially has garnered a reputation for confusing the viewer only for the sake of intellectual elitism. However, what I have come to understand about artforms of just about every sort is that the meaning itself is something abstract, even with art pieces which one might look at and not think to extract any sense whatsoever. Art must inevitably be what a person makes of it. When it comes to looking at art, one can view the evidence in front of them and make a decision based on that. Indeed, if one wishes to see art in a consumable and understandable way, then viewing some of the exhibitions at the CU Boulder art museum might be perfect. I have previously discussed some of the benefits of visiting the CU Art Museum, but as there are always new exhibitions being shown, I thought I would highlight some of those available currently for anyone who might like to dabble in the art scene at CU Boulder.

Daisy Patton: This Is Not Goodbye

person facing sunburst wall

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

In this collection, artist Daisy Patton is concerned primarily with how the concept of death is viewed and dealt with, as well as how death is processed in today’s society. Her work features exquisitely vibrant colors and fascinating forms to examine death. What stands out about this series is how it portrays death not only as something of complete despair, but also how death transforms into healing. Much of Patton’s work has to do with how we as humans cope with death. In this series, the artist uses the rituals, traditions, and ceremonies that societies and cultures practice when it comes to dealing with death. Because of this, the viewers themselves consider how death has affected them and how they have dealt with death. This series becomes a point of catharsis for many of the viewers.

Documenting Change: Our Climate, the Rockies

silhouette of person standing on dark room

Photo by Changqing Lu on Unsplash

When it comes to living in Colorado, one would imagine that the mountains are the initial things which come to mind. The mountains are a massive aspect of the ecosystem of Colorado. Yet, as the situation of climate change worsens with every passing year, we cannot ignore the effect of climate change on the Rockies. In this exhibition, the reality of climate change is examined. While political art such as this can be off-putting to some, climate change is something which must be addressed. The sheer amount of evidence available that this occurrence is happening reveals that there can be no more excuses. Perhaps viewing art which deals with the new environment that is emerging will allow some people to consider climate change in a new light. Maybe it will open their eyes to the truth of our situation.

Florian Hecker: Synopsis/Seriation

woman covering her hair and wearing headphones

Photo by Alice Moore on Unsplash

For those who may not be attracted to visual art, this exhibition might be perfect for you. Instead of focusing on the optical elements of art, Hecker’s work examines sound. This art experiments with how auditory sound is perceived. Sound itself is treated more as a concept which is a way to understand the human condition regarding thought, past and present. These sounds were created by the artist in order to construct an auditory world in and of itself. By using sound as an art form, the exhibition becomes a new kind of existence. Each piece is split into two separate works, each taking place over the time-span of about twenty-four minutes. Naturally, every piece has a distinct theme, yet the listener is openly encouraged to create ideas for themselves when it comes to hearing these works.

Modern art has obtained a somewhat unfortunate name for itself; an artform which is overly intellectualized and made to confuse the viewer. However, I would make the argument that it is not the art itself, but instead certain art enthusiasts, and perhaps even some artists, who are better deserving of this description. Art as a concept is meant to open one’s mind to new ideas and ways of thinking, or perhaps it is intended to make one feel heard in an indifferent world. It is a uniquely developed idea which may be privileged, but with a fascinating hope for itself. At its core, art is individuated. In the opinion of this pretentious writer, the majority of art does not have an obvious meaning. Instead, sense can be created by the evidence of the audience. Art is simply what one makes of it. Many would disagree with me, yet I do not believe that art is accessible unless it is viewed in this way. For my fellow students who may never have considered visiting the CU Art Museum without being forced to do so by a class, give it a try. If I had told my younger-self a few years ago that I would be fascinated by and interested in modern art, I would have laughed. Yet, I believe that contemporary art has indeed made me consider things that I might never have before considered. I feel that it is important to mention that the CU Art Museum is free for students, the cost is only one’s time. If you think that this is worth it, I would recommend participating.

Taylor Denton is a movie-loving, vegetarian, nerdy student living in Boulder, currently working to complete a degree in English. She was born on March 22nd, 1998, in Springfield, Missouri. She began writing short stories when she was in middle-school, publishing her first poem in a book created by her school. In high school, her love for creative writing expanded and came to life. She has continued to write, which has become her passion in life. She now writes in college from the perspective of a student, working as often as she can to keep her voice active and evolving while she continues to purse her enthusiasm for writing.