Contemporary art Museums USA

New Aspen Art Museum heralded by a bigger bang

Cai Guo-Qiang provides pyrotechnic overture to grand opening

Roof deck of the Shigeru Ban-designed Aspen Art Museum, photo copyright Derek Skalko

The New Aspen Art Museum, designed by the Tokyo-based, award winning architect Shigeru Ban, is being heralded with a bang. A week before the opening of the institution's new home to the public on 9 August, a pyrotechnic work by Cai Guo-Qiang called Black Lightning is due to explode above an Aspen mountain on Saturday, 2 August.

And today the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto is due to receive the the 2014 Aspen Award for Art. Neto has two, site-specific installations in the Colorado art museum's old home, aptly titled Gratitude (until 2 September).

The New Aspen Art Museum's inaugural exhibitions include one about Shigeru Ban's humanitarian projects, featuring examples of the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect's work (until October 5) as well as “David Hammons Yves Klein/Yves Klein David Hammons” (until November 30). There are also solo shows of Tomma Abts and Rosemarie Trockel's work (both until 26 October).

Meanwhile, Jim Hodges has created an installation wrapping around the new building proclaiming "With Liberty and Justice For All". On the roof visitors will find Cai Guo-Qiang's installation Moving Ghost Town (until October 26), and they will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the mountains that every winter make the city the US ski destination of choice for the rich and famous.

Construction of the museum's new home, which includes 12,500 sq. feet of exhibition space, is a $45m project, which has been privately funded, as has a $25m boost to the museum's endowment.

 

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