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I ever say go to the Dallas Museum and see the wonders it beholds, you must stop what you are doing and go with great haste. It will be a request you will hear from me less often than the occurrence of a blue moon; for the moment is so rare it comes by only in the blink of an eye.

Ron Mueck - Angel

Angel, Ron Mueck, Australian, 1997
Silicone rubber and mixed media
43 1/3 x 34 1/4 x 31 7/8 inches

The planets have aligned long enough to witness Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeoies, Bruce Nauman, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline (to name just a few from the “first phase“ of the installation).

Yes, many of them you have seen at various times throughout the years in assorted exhibitions, but then “phases two and three” hit you with Kiki Smith, Cy Twombly, William DeKooning, Jackie Windsor, Tony Craigg, Robert Gober and Francis Bacon.

I like Matthew Barney’s “Cloud Club“ (2002) with its pristine inlaid wood piano with cement shoveled across the strings; the keyboard walled off by a thick marble slab challenging anyone who attempts to make sounds from this long-silenced instrument. It mixes the refined element of rich wood and marble with potatoes and concrete.

Ron Muech’s silicone “Angel” (1997) will have you looking closely at every detail of this naked, elf-like, winged creature sitting on a high stool. It reminds me of a modern-day Rodin Thinker. The quizzical look it gives makes you wonder if it just made a hugh mistake and he will soon have to answer to “higher ups” for the screw up.

I was introduced to Tony Friedman’s work running through the museum a few months ago in dire need to feed my hunger for a visual snack before heading elsewhere. His “scribble” caught my eye from a distance, and I thought it was a three-dimensional wire hanging thing that I would walk a few more steps closer to and then rush out the door.

As I approached it it did appear to just as I thought (a piece of loosely wadded up wire handing from an invisible thread) but as I attempted to walk underneath it I discovered it was drawn on the wall.No, not just drawn on the wall but drawn on white paper, cut out, and glued to the wall.

When I say cut out I don’t mean the outer boarder of the drawing I mean every void-of-line gap was meticulously removed! What a labor-intensive challenge to cut this piece out. What a nightmare to install!


Matthew Barney - The Cloud Club

Matthew Barney, The Cloud Club, 2002,
sculpture, 57 x 108 x 84 in.,
Dallas Museum of Art
© Matthew Barney

As you leave the final installment of this wonderful collection of sculptors and painters you get to take a piece of art with you and savor its sweetness. Felix Torres’ candy installation allows you to reduce the rectangular arrangement on the corner of the floor. I have mine mounted on the wall at home.

And last but no means least an exhibition of the Hoffman’s collection of Joseph Cornell’s boxes in tiny quite room off from the main runway. There are approximately 12 of them that touch on the thematic stages of the artist’s career. There are the Medici slot machines, the aviary, the hotels, and the sand boxes.

My favorite are the celestial boxes with their cork balls, rings and cordial glasses. The celestial star maps in the background with driftwood and clay pipes arranged just so. The low-lighted room lends itself to the mediation and contemplation these works deserve.

I have been back many times to enjoy this work and it has been a joy to see each time.

More stories by Norman Kary
Norman Kary's DARts Member Page

Images courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

Fast Forward — Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art — Phase One includes abstract expressionist paintings by Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, minimalist sculpture and paintings by Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly and work by Bruce Nauman through april 8. Phase Two features one-artist galleries of paintings by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Robert Ryman, major paingints and sculpture by Jasper Johns, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly and Brice Marden and Matthew Barney, Kiki Smith, Robert Gober, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Thomas Strut and Janine Antoni and others, through May 20, 2007