Aspen Art Museum plays with new site |

Aspen Art Museum plays with new site

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times

ASPEN – The Aspen Art Museum isn’t waiting until it builds a new facility on a vacant lot in downtown Aspen to put art there.

Rather, visitors will find an interactive sculpture by Pedro Reyes (climb in, it seats three) that may have been the most intriguing seat in the house for last night’s slate of short films at what’s been billed as “Aspen’s only bike-in theater.”

The site also boasts a piece by New York-based Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija – “Untitled (the future will be chrome)” – that doubles as a pingpong table. The mirror-polished, stainless steel table topped with a glass net draws players throughout the day, and has inspired Saturday’s Chrome Classic, a free table tennis tournament for players of all ages and abilities.

The tournament, from noon to 4 p.m., has room for 32 competitors who will face off in a bracket-style format. One champion will be crowned. It’s first-come, first-serve to play – contact Will Brown, the museum’s curatorial intern, to sign up, at or 925-8050.

The museum’s future home is at the corner of Spring and Hyman, former site of the now-razed Wienerstube building. It is currently a gravel lot with a raised, grassy area, and white tape outlining the floor of the planned building, designed by architect Shigeru Ban. A temporary pavilion there is constructed of Ban’s signature paper tubes and houses information on the upcoming project.

Still to come are kid-friendly sculptures to complement Reyes’ Capula 18 (dodecahedron), a colorful geometric sculpture made of vinyl woven on a steel frame, with a suspended inner floor that seats up to three people.

“It’s acting as sort of a satellite exhibition site,” said Jeff Murcko, museum communications director.

And, the bike-in movies continue July 13 and 20. Moviegoers don’t have to watch from their bike seats, though. Bring a blanket for a spot on the grass, Murcko advises. Radios broadcast the sound.

On July 13, the film series features “Waste Land,” a documentary that follows artist Vik Muniz’s travels from New York City to Brazil as he engages with workers at the world’s largest trash dump.

Then, on July 20, Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” hits the temporary screen.

The future museum site is open and staffed on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

The museum is aiming to break ground on its $30 million construction project in the fall, Murcko said.

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