It is the official policy of this site to tilt at art windbags.
The DMA has an odd take on the concept of open. As in their promise to be open for 100 hours for their 100th anniversary early mid in January 2003. But then their take on a lot of things is odd...
I usually am awake at these hours, so I made my way downtown to the D M of A at about 3 in the A of M. Nearby street parking was no hassle, for a change.
Inside, maybe 150 young people — I was easily the oldest person there at that early/late hour — thronged the hallways, galleries and eatery, which was booming out what I think might be called trance, and another guess — music, which was inescapable, shaking the whole building. But it had a beat; I'd give it a 1.5; you could dance to it. We all were, like it or not.
I hoped to see the Sculpture Garden by night, but it was closed. The bookstore was closed, and the Permanent Collection, which is a basic element of any museum, was — you guessed it —closed. Why claim to be open for a 100 straight hours when all these standard museum features were closed?
I was amazed and verbally upset — although the totally unhelpful ESL (English as a Second Language) guard was unclear on the concept. Yes, the permanent collection is open, or yes, I can go in there? "No."
Another guard insisted that the sculpture garden should be open. I thought so, too. But it wasn't.
Instead of local kid art in the kiddie gallery, a cheap trick was played on Dallas school kids, fooling them into thinking painting numbers was art. One through 100 in colorfully insipid textures and patterns.
Apparently the so-called Dallas museum is shilling for Nissan now. Ugly gray cars dotted the inner landscape, taking up space. I've often daydreamed of skateboards or soap boxes on the big ramp through the mu and wondered if racing the squat
Nipponese cucarachas would be even more amusing. Screech! Bang. Peel out. Bump over the sculpture. Roll over in the big galleries. Blood everywhere. At least there'd be some of the red stuff flowing, for a change.
I didn't see a single piece of certified Dallas art in the institution that Harry Parker built. Mayhaps I should attend The Bozo Ball and see the frames — not art, (The DMA would never trust local artists to make art.) frames! —some Dallas artists (me included, oddly) were asked to donate this year (I did not.) They used to promise the funds raised would go to buy Dallas and Texas artists. Never saw any...
Shadows on the Mu wall at 3:13
Despite my grousing, however, I enjoyed watching Sigmar Polke's giant, quirky, mixed media paintings — especially their thin, subtle sheens of iridescence and bold, almost tactile (I dared not touch) ben day intermeshing. I hadn't a clue what they were about, but if he were from around here, I woulda tried to find out.
And I spent more than an hour minutely examining brush stroke dances in the Gilded Age, where I was gaga over the romantic portraits and chaste mythological statuary in two and three dimensions.
I brought money, thinking I'd have to buy into something there, but the money changers guarded only one show I saw, but I didn't even think to go upstairs to see the fake Pre-Columbians or Africans. Everything I saw was free. Including the little plastic bag of 17 red, blue and green M plurals — not M&Ms — and a refrigerator magnet pressed into my hand as I departed.
Taking my friend Al's warning, I left the candy in the clear plastic bag, a suitable souvenir of the mu's birth — or any other — day. Luckily I entirely missed the previous night's Dead Elvis Birthday, memorializing already too many years of anything but Dallas art.
- JR Compton
Feedback on this story and this "reality" continues to grow and is just below. We'll be happy to add your fuel to the fire. E-mail it to me.
Boring in Fort Worth, too
I am not all surprised that the show was boring. I am not surprised by the lack of support from any of the so called High Powered venues in the DFW area.
Fort Worth need some work supporting its local artist as well. I visited the New Modern and it is a beautiful facility, however, the art was the same and boring too.
Perhaps some day they will wake up to the fact that there are a lot of good local artist in the DFW area. Well, maybe not, in the meantime, we locals will continue to ignore them like they do us.
Robert L. Berry, Jr.
Robert L. Berry, Jr. is a DARts
YYYhhaawww! Texas Money!
JR - You left out some other things abt DMA 's 100. Like the noon power walks, yoga classes, high school bands and sandwiches that Elvis ate. One of the museum people, showing how hip they are, said they were really stoked about the whole thing.
What, among many things, was bothersome was how they ignored their/our own cultural history like the Bywaters years when he, an artist, was director of the museum.
The whole thing felt more like an adolescent stunt than a serious artistic endeavor. Just embarrassing and showed how completely out of touch they are with the cultural life of the city they exist in.
Jack Lane, I thought, was supposed to be someone who would work with the local artists. He said how much he loved Texas music when he came and pulled on his boots and shouted YYYhhaawww.
He said I like Texas art too but I really like Texas money best. Does he live here?
But what can the DMA do in the face of the great new Ft Worth Modern, the Kimball, and the expanded Amon Carter but come up with a new logo.
By the way I sent a similar letter to the Dallas Morning News which just ignored it.
We were struggling for another name to top this artist's reply (above). We thought about Sam, as in A Sam Blage, his chosen art form. But we asked, and this was his reply:
Norman is a Supporting Member. See his DARts page.
I just got back from the DMA (Dallas Museum of Art).
100 boring hours and hanging out with 100,000 boring snobs, who had nothing to say.
The mayor wasn't even there, when they opened the door at 10 o'clock Wednesday. They had a band play, but they could barely play music....
Nobody was really there, not even the the mayor.
100 years of the DMA — really boring stuff, if you know what I mean.
When you go through the galleries and check out all the collections you see they really collected and began to collect in the 60s — and 50s, and whatever they've acquired in the past 25 years is pretty boring to talk about.
Sigmar Polke - I'm very impressed with his work. I've always loved it. But over all it's a 100 boring hours at the DMA.
Go check it out. But don't try the M&Ms, they're about 3 months old.
Oh, by the way... It's free to go in, but you gotta pay for everything else.
@rt is a Supporting Member. See his DARts pages.
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