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 William Jackson Maxwell  (1947 - 2000)

About: William Jackson Maxwell


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Lived/Active: Colorado      Known for: conceptual installation, kinetic art

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is an exhibition review of the artist and his wife.

The World So Far As I Know It
McMahon Gallery at the Dairy Center for the Arts
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By Michael Paglia Thursday, Mar 16 2006

A little over a decade ago, Denver International Airport opened to the public and unveiled its multimillion-dollar collection of public art. Only a handful of pieces that were commissioned have stood up well to changing tastes.

One work that looks as good as ever -- and has been a hit with the public at DIA -- is "Kinetic Light/Air Curtain" (detail above). The piece is a kid-friendly conceptual installation (think about that combination for a minute) in which blue neon washes the walls of one of the train tunnels while thousands of tiny propellers spin from the breeze generated by the passing train. It's particularly nice when seen from the rear window of the train, but it's not just pretty -- it's also smart. An installation of air-driven propellers at an airport. Brilliant.

"Kinetic Light/Air Curtain" was created by the husband-and-wife team of William Jackson Maxwell and Antonette Rosato, both Colorado artists. In a poignant irony, considering all the pleasure their work has brought to so many over the years, both Maxwell and Rosato suffered through illnesses and died prematurely. Maxwell was only 52 when he passed away due to natural causes in 2000; late last month, Rosato died from breast cancer at the age of 53.
Rosato was a professor of sculpture at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She had a BFA from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the Claremont Colleges. She joined the CU faculty in 1989.

Rosato's most recent show, The World So Far As I Know It, opened in the McMahon Gallery at the Dairy Center for the Arts (2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, 303-440-7826) five days before she died. The site-specific installation about her life and impending death was assembled by Rosato's friends and former students who worked collaboratively with her.

The World So Far As I Know It closes on April 7, while the "Kinetic Light/Air Curtain" created with Maxwell will surely enrich DIA for many years to come.


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