PaperCity Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 99

of canonical works from Europe and the Americas. The next stop was Latin American and Latino art, where the MFAH's extraordinary, rich holdings in Brazilian constructivism and works from Uruguayan master Joaquín Torres-García and his School of the South reveal a new world order; the museum's signature department was founded 20 years ago after the visionary hire of curator Mari Carmen Ramírez. Our tour was led past a gallery devoted to decorative arts, craft, and design, where curator Cindi Strauss was marshaling a crew of preparators. We look forward to seeing highlights of the Helen Williams Drutt Collection of studio jewelry and inventive ceramics from the Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection there. The photography galleries, heralded by a striking Jason Salavon digital wallpaper commission, are another calling card. The MFAH holdings, honed by (now retired) curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, are among the top 10 in the world. Current curators Malcolm Daniel and Lisa Volpe have crafted an unexpected, engaging presentation, including South African photographer Zanele Muholi's self- portrait as photo mural and a cache of Robert Frank works from The Americans that speak to our time. It was a delight, too, to encounter recent acquisitions, displayed salon style, of the vernacular photographic treasures from the collection of Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey, as well as a feminist image by Laurie Simmons. Out of time, we galloped through prints and drawings, a department overseen for years by the late curator Barry Walker, now the domain of the capable Dena Woodall. A Romare Bearden collage held the wall, as did a dystopian drawing by former Houston artist Robyn O'Neil. The third floor was still being envisioned and sans artworks in its volumetric spaces. Tinterow revealed its thematic, interdepartmental topics: Collectivity; Color into Light; LOL!; Border, Mapping, Witness; Line into Space — exhibitions prepared in time for an opening day that miraculously has been only slightly delayed despite a global pandemic and two hurricanes. Ai WeiWei + Friends Our tour wrapped with a trip to the subterranean universe, which Tinterow explained is all about transformation. Still in the nascent stages of installation, this brave new world will feature two thrilling tunnels bearing artworks, both light based. Each promises to be extraordinary. Venezuelan-born Carlos Cruz-Diez, in one of his final creations before his passing in 2019, forges an immersive environment of colored light to blaze a pathway to connect the Kinder with the Law Building. The second tunnel, leading to the Glassell School, is the province of international Scandinavian talent Olafur Eliasson. Without giving too much away, we'll say the viewer will be in for some optical razzle-dazzle and become part of the artwork. The biggest name among these Kinder commissions is Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. His bamboo, aluminum, silk, and mirrored dragon reigns over the ceiling adjoining the Eliasson tunnel towards the Glassell — fittingly, above a drop-off atrium for schoolchildren. Finally, the African continent is represented in this underground kingdom by a work at the gateway to the Cruz-Diez tunnel. Ghana-born, Nigeria-based El Anatsui's sinuous, epic metallic tapestry formed from wrappers salvaged from liquor bottles will be suspended as a grand gesture to globalism, in dialogue with Korean- born Do Ho Suh's ghostly 2015 Portal, encompassing past and future in cast resin — a metaphor perhaps for this new building. Page 78, clockwise from middle column: Zanele Muholi's Misiwe IV, Bijlmer, Amsterdam, 2017; Yayoi Kusama's Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, 2009; Gerrit Rietveld's Red/Blue Chair, circa 1920. This page, from top: James Turrell's Caper, Salmon into White, 2000; Alice Neel's The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson and Julia), 1970. From top, both works in mFAh ColleCtion. © JAmes turrell, photo by thomAs r. DubroCk. © estAte oF AliCe neel. (Continued from page 78) 80

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity_Houston_December_2020