During a recent trip, I visited the beautiful NEW Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. The exterior Woven Wood Screen has an intricate quality when viewed close up, and evokes curiosity from far away. The award winning Japanese Architect, Shigeru Ban, designed this 33,000 sq ft. structure to “create a harmony between Aspen’s existing architecture and the surrounding natural beauty…and to open the building to the outside so visitors could appreciate the beauty of Aspen from the inside.
In walking through the museum, I felt as if the building were an installation in and of itself. Each time you walk through a hallway, or into one of the galleries, there would be a stunning architectural detail to appreciate, and a unique perspective of the outdoor landscape. Materials such as recycled corrugated tubes were used in unusual ways such as a wall and as a long functional bench.
The Museum does not house a permanent art collection but has new exhibits every few months in its eight exhibition spaces. One of the most interesting exhibits was that of sculpture Roberto Cuoghi. His exhibit examines the ideas of metamorphosis based on his research of the Assyrian culture. He was drawn to the “dark irrationality within which the ghosts of death and of total disappearance are the disquieting protagonists.” He began making drawings and scultptures using nontraditional materials in unconventional ways. One of his key focal points was the Assyrian and Babylonian demonic god of the first millennium BC, Pazuzu, historcally described as a hybrid creature possessing the body of a man and the head of a dragon-snake.