July 24, 2019

Instagram Exhibition: Criss-Cross Applesauce

Magdalena Sterling


I’m Magdalena Sterling and this summer I had the incredible opportunity to work at MCA Denver as the Multicultural Curatorial Fellow. While studying Art History at the University of New Mexico, I have been itching to gain experience in the museum world, and where better to go than my home state of Colorado. This job has allowed me the time and resources to learn more about the inner workings of a groovy yet prominent museum while giving me the independence to create a project of my own: an Instagram exhibition, Criss-Cross Applesauce. 

Clark Richert in hyperspace has taken Denver by storm. The exhibition transports viewers to the 1960s and escorts us through time and the multiple stages in Richert’s career. One particular phase of his work that left me wanting more was Richert’s involvement in the Criss-Cross art collective. 

Criss-Cross started in 1974 and was based in Boulder, Colorado. Members Charles DiJulio, Richard Kallweit, Clark Richert, and Fred Worden met at Drop City, the art community outside of Trinidad, Colorado. Exploring similar themes such as mathematics, pattern, and nature with an emphasis on group work, Criss-Cross published periodicals called Criss-Cross Art Communications in order to spread their ideas, feature their exhibitions, and connect with like-minded artists. 

Criss-Cross Art Communications was available by subscription at a rate of fifteen dollars for four issues. The periodicals were structured in style yet unpredictable in content, intellectual yet accessible, and experimental yet deliberate. Not only did they showcase profound ideas but also incredible works of art by the members and other featured artists like Karen Cairns, Bruce Conner, E.F. Higgins III, Robert Janz, Gloria Klein, Marilyn Nelson, Jon Thogmartin, and George Woodman.

A hand is holding a book open filled with small miscellaneous drawings.


In order to more thoroughly understand Criss-Cross and Richert’s participation in the collective,  several issues of Criss-Cross Art Communications will be displayed in an Instagram exhibition, Criss-Cross Applesauce, that will be visible to anyone and everyone starting July 25, 2019 through August 8, 2019. Throughout this two-week period, Clark Richert will be doing artist talks, breaking down the purpose of Criss-Cross and telling us more about how Criss-Cross Art Communications came to be. His talks will be posted as Instagram stories on July 29, August 2, and August 6. Make sure you follow @crisscross__applesause on Instagram to stay posted on everything Criss-Cross and Clark Richert related! 

A book lies open on a table displaying a geometrical sculpture made of small blocks in green, blue, purple, and orange.


While exploring the page, I also encourage you to consider the accessibility that Instagram brings to an art exhibition. How does viewing art from this platform affect the value of the works that are being shown? How much time would you spend looking at an Instagram exhibition compared to walking through a museum? What role does convenience play when understanding works of art?

Magdalena Sterling, 

Multicultural Curatorial Fellow