10/20/10

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas TX

The dynamic Dallas Art Museum holds the distinction of being the only museum in the country to have a sixty-eight acre Art Park surrounding it. The building, designed in 1984 by Edward Larrabee Barnes, formed the cornerstone an ambitious dream that has taken the City of Dallas well over thirty years to realize.

Dale Chihuly's glass flowers playfully dance across the windows of the dining area that overlook what is fast growing into an Art Park; steel beams and concrete cover the Woodhall freeway underneath to form support for what will eventually be home to an extensive sculpture garden.
Chihuly is a prolific artist who is largely responsible for the American renaissance of glass and its place a legitimate art form.
A window and seating area at the very top of these stairs provides a quiet place to rest and view the Nasher's outdoor Sculpture Garden across the street. A superb research library on the level below is available to both curators and the public.
Galleries extend off both sides of a great hall that runs through the center of the building, allowing visitors easy access from either end. Shadows from trees in the outdoor garden form intricate patterns on the wall that change throughout the afternoon.
French glass is beautifully displayed.
Modernism is well-represented, with one of my favorite pieces of all time, the playful Marshmallow Sofa by George Nelson (c 1954), and... 
Tea Service by Greta Heymann-Marks (c. 1930). As a former ceramicist, the overlap of color reminds me how difficult it is to control glaze as it's being sprayed on bisque ware prior to firing. Some would consider this an imperfect application. 
The "art of tea" takes form in the graceful lines of this elegant art nouveau silver service. 
The Reves Wing houses an elaborate 15,000-square-foot reproduction of an extraordinary couple's home in France, Villa La Pausa, built by Coco Chanel in 1927 and sold to Reves in 1953. Much of the original furniture is preserved in room replicas. This special gift, unique to the Dallas Art Museum, was received in 1985 from Wendy Reves in honor of her late husband, Emery Reves
European and Oriental furniture and carpets, iron, bronze, and silver work are among the wide variety of decorative arts exhibited throughout the Reves Wing.


Works by Cezanne, Daumier, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Pisarro, Renoir and Van Gogh are well represented in the extensive 14,000 piece collection amassed by the couple. Listen to what a passionate collector sounds like here.
A collection of frames and mirrors are beautiful in and of themselves. 

The disturbing subject matter of the sculpture on the left is counterbalanced by Buddha's tranquil stance on the right.
DMA invites us to sit among the Impressionists and stay awhile. My eye headed most often toward the Monet to the right. 


A Japanese saddle is featured in a long, open gallery.
A reflecting pool bridges the museum interior with an outdoor sculpture garden.




The elegant curves form a two-sided bench by architect Zaha Hadid, one of my favorite contemporary architects.


Mark di Suvero's bright orange sculpture is at home at one of the entrances. To see an unpainted bronze, walk down the street to Nasher Sculpture Garden. I admire Di Suvero as an artist who gives back, having generously established two artists' collectives, La Vie des Formes in France and Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. The world needs more people like him!
Do what the van says...Gogh! To learn more: www.dm-art.org

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Keep cruisin'.... 
          Crow Collection of Asian Art
Nasher Sculpture Museum
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