Sunday, July 18, 2010

trip to museums in houston

I got this picture from a google search that wound up here, the rest are from the respective museum websites

I recently went down to Houston to see the museums there before I leave Texas. The Menil Collection (above and below) was my favorite. The collection, the layout, the architecture, even the location, were  all considered and related. I love museums that feel relaxed, and the spacious, light-filled building did just that. 

The whole collection was amazing and beautifully curated, but my favorite was the surrealism collection. Pictured above left is Witnesses to a Surrealist Vision, a "room of wonders." From their site: the room "displays the types of exotic curiosities that captivated and inspired these artists. The 200 objects on view range from ceremonial costumes and masks to bird specimens, surgical tools, astronomical instruments, and fetish figures." This room has everything from a necklace made out of colorful, iridescent dead birds, to a dildo made out of a rock, to a bizarre leather costume covered in nails. 

Pictured above right is my favorite piece in the contemporary collection, Robert Gober's Untitled, made of beeswax and human hair. It's just sitting on a white podium, doing its thing. 

I also enjoyed the Cy Twombly gallery, a part of the Menil collection in another building. My favorite was the text-like, chalkboard-like room of paintings above left. 

I'm glad I visited the Rothko Chapel too, though it wasn't exactly a museum, or part of a museum experience. I wish I'd gone there in a mindset to meditate, or had a chapel just like it in my neighborhood to go to and meditate whenever I wanted, because it's perfect for that. For looking at the 9 paintings there, it was simply from a different world than the museums I'd been visiting, so it was almost hard to register them as paintings. I think I appreciated them as paintings, and I definitely loved them as means for creating a spiritual/meditative space.  

I also visited the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, which is very small but worth it if only to see a modern reconstruction of a 13th century Byzantine dome and apse built inside of a concrete room. Stopped by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well, and was not impressed, especially after the gorgeous Menil collection.

We're already planning another weekend Texas art expedition. I just learned about this amazing-sounding exhibit of children's book illustration at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX. There are originals by Trina Schart Hyman and Jerry Pinkney! I'm so excited to make a ton of pasta salad, load up the car with snacks and my ipod with audiobooks, and see it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails