It is the official policy of this site to tilt at art windbags.

 M, plural, not M&Ms - M as in Museum, no doubt

Does the term candy ass come to mind?

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.

a colorful museum room barely visible through a tree in the middle of the night

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...


early ayem tree shadows on the DMA wall

Tree 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.


Reader Feedback on the
DMA 100 Story above:

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.

I love your take on Art in the Metroplex.

Robert L. Berry, Jr.

Robert L. Berry, Jr. is a DARts
Supporting Member. See his page of art.


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.

Robert Trammell


I have to chime in with @rt and Al and admit that the Dallas Museum continues to live up to its reputation as a place to visit for 15 minutes only. I can put a quarter in the meter and be back with time to spare.

I was looking forward to Polke's Show but found it to be too Last-Century (Too Big with not a lot to say). The Billboard-size works didn't measure up to the real billboards on the parking garages down the street. The images and way he used them looked like a throw-back to David Salle's work in the 80s.

Was this show really worth removing the Stake-Hitch for? (Too bad Oldenburg didn't make it to be installed outdoors).

I do continue to be optimistic that I will be rewarded for my diligence in looking for a great show at the DMA. They sure don't have a problem badgering me to give Art to their Ball each year.

I'm afraid I-30 West will continue to be the sign post I look for to see interesting Art in a Museum setting.

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:

You sure can use my whole name. I don't mind who knows my views on a organization that alienates the very constituents it pretends have the support of. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Take a survey of just the artists in town who feel this way and I think you might be surprized.

Or maybe I'm in the minority.

Norman Kary

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 Says

Went with Norman to see the SeeMore Pokes at the DMA tonight... Sigmar Polke's work is BIG and uses a wide variety of media... but it didn't get me too excited. and the permanently minimal collection wasn't much of a thrill either.

I thought it was funny that the Modern in Ft.W only has its permanent collection up and it kicks DMA's butt. *yawn*


Went to see Almodovar's new film Talk to Her at the Inwood. Thought it was far more creative and inspired than The Two Towers, of course I also think he is one hellacious moviemaker.

@rt is a Supporting Member. See his DARts pages.

We love to publish Other People's Opinions — especially if they don't coincide with ours. If you have an opinion — or a series of them — and you're not afraid to express them, we'd love to use yours in one of these Somebody Says boxes. You don't have to use your real name, but I have to know it. E-mail opinions about Dallas-area art, artists, art administrators or art institutions to JR anytime.

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