If you've visited Aspen in the past year, you might have noticed a major development project on the corner of East Hyman and South Spring Street (637 East Hyman Avenue) in the core of downtown. Emblazoned with "A Few of Our Favorite Things" by artist Dave Muller, its new occupant even makes construction look good.
It's the new home of the Aspen Art Museum of course and plans are well underway for their official unveiling next summer. The opening celebration was announced for Saturday, August 9, 2014 with a free, 24-hour event planned in conjunction with the AAM's 35th year of presenting internationally renowned contemporary art. They've also revealed the inaugural exhibitions for the new building led by Yves Klein and David Hammons, an unprecedented coupling in the modern art world.
Additional artists throughout the 33,000 square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building include:
· Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture
· Tomma Abts
· Rosemarie Trockel
· Jim Hodges
· Cai Guo-Qiang
The new AAM is Ban's first U.S. museum and of its design, he says, "Designing the Aspen Art Museum presented a very exciting opportunity to create a harmony between architecture and Aspen's surrounding beauty while also responding to the need for the dialogue between artwork, audience, and the space itself."
Construction began in October of 2012 and is 100% privately funded from its deep pocketed and loyal base of supporters. To date, $58 million has been raised, including the $20 million for the museum's endowment, and $38 million toward the building project.
The space will feature 12,500 square feet of flexible exhibition space among six primary galleries spread over four levels plus a roof garden with unparalleled views of Ajax—more than tripling the amount of museum's current facility. But until next year, AAM has no plans of slowing down. Tonight marks the opening soiree for its 9th annual ArtCrush benefit hosted by the couple you can thank for your free admission, Amy and John Phelan. Longtime supporters and notorious art world collectors, she is the ArtCrush event chair and he is the Board of Trustees Co-President. The three-day and uber exclusive benefit is a sellout and expects to top the $2 million raised at last year's event through pricey ticket sales and silent and live auctions.[Gallery courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects]