Dale Chisman, The Ring, 1989, acrylic on linen, 72 x 72".

Dale Chisman


Dale Chisman, The Ring, 1989, acrylic on linen, 72 x 72".

Abstraction is central to the art history of Colorado. In 1948, fifteen progressive painters broke from the convention-bound Denver Artists Guild and organized their own exhibition, sparking such local newspaper headlines as “Modern vs. Traditional Painting Inspires Denver Artists’ Schism.” Dale Chisman, a Denver luminary who died in 2008 at age sixty-five, was an heir of this fertile movement, and his vibrant abstractions were enthusiastically sought by the Denver Art Museum and collectors across the region. While elsewhere in the country Chisman’s name may hardly generate a flicker of recognition, his rich body of work nonetheless ties the artist’s home state to the international trajectory of old-form AbEx from the end of its first wave (in the 1940s) through its various subsequent developments.

The first in-depth look at Chisman’s accomplishments came recently, with an overdue

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