Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Visit to the Nasher Sculpture Center

Saturday was Target First Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center which meant free admission.  The Center opened at 10:00 am, so we headed over hoping to beat the crowd.  The temperature was already headed for triple digit heat, but that didn't stop people from coming out and enjoying the sculpture.

Aaron Curry, Big Pink, 2010

Aaron Curry's Big Pink greets visitors at the entrance to the Center.  This is one of the ten sculptures from the Statuesque exhibition that runs through August 21. Statuesque has been organized by the Public Art Fund's chief curator Nicholas Baume, and was previously on view at the Lower Manhattan City Hall Park before traveling to Dallas.  These works are presented at the Nasher in context with works from the Center's collection, so my pictures and text are presented as a combination of my favorites from both groups of work.

Aaron Curry, Yellow Bird Boy, 2010

Another of the Statuesque sculptures, this one on the rear veranda of the Center overlooking the garden.

George Segal, Rush Hour, 1983, cast 1985 - 86

This Segal is part of the Nasher collection.  Other people seem to enjoy  posing for photos by standing behind or next to the sculpture as if they are part of the scene.  The number of figures in the sculpture somewhat represent the number of people one would find walking the sidewalks in downtown Dallas at rush hour, but Dallasites would never walk this close together unless they knew each other well.  But Segal may have never visited Dallas.

Thomas Houseago, Untitled (Lumpy Figure), 2009

This is one of the Statuesque sculptures.  Untitled seems to be trying to catch up and join the figures in Rush Hour.

Alexander Calder, Three Bollards, 1970

The Nasher's outdoor Calder sculpture seems to be soaking up the cooling shade of the oak trees that create a cathedral ceiling above.

Henry Moore, Working Model for Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae, 1968

Rusty studying one of the Nasher's Henry Moore sculptures.

Joan Miro, Caress of a Bird (La Caresse d'un oiseau), 1967

This Miro is part of the Nasher collection and it is nestled at the back of the garden under crepe myrtle trees.  The colors on this painted bronze really pop in the shade.

 Pawal Althamer and the Nowolipie Group, Sylvvia, 2010
detail of Sylvvia

Sylvvia is part of the Statuesque exhibit.  I did not notice many people stopping to take in this sculpture.  Perhaps it is too sensual for Dallasites on a hot sultry morning.  But she seems to be relishing reclining in the shade in the damp recently watered grass.  There are little figures in her hair lounging as if at the beach.  Pools of water in her hair create an even more alluring scene of respite.  I wonder if the water evaporated as the air heated up to 106F a few hours later.

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bronze Crowd, 1990 - 91

Part of the Nasher collection, Abakanowicz's sculptures feel lonely, forlorn, waiting for a revolution. This crowd scene does feel more like Dallas, though, with plenty of breathing space between the figures.  It's hot here, don't touch me.  The Federal Reserve Bank building rises in the middle background a few blocks away.

Richard Serra, My Curves Are Not Mad, 1987

Serra's sculpture sat at the Ross Street entrance of the Dallas Museum of Art next door for years before the Nasher Sculpture Center opened.  I miss seeing it at the DMA and there are still two curved rust lines on the pavement where this used to reside.  But it definitely works here. It feels like it is floating weightlessly on the lawn.

Mark Di Suvero, Eviva Amore, 2001

Part of the Nasher collection, this Di Suvero is like a giant dragonfly come to rest on the garden lawn.  The Nasher is being surrounded by modern sky scrapers.  Eviva Amore almost feels like a toy left behind by one of the steel i-beam and concrete sky scrapers.

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Tete de femme), 1958

In a similar way, this Picasso also feels so at home with the sky scrapers gazing down upon her gravel and concrete composition.

Soon, residents of Museum Tower will be gazing down upon this oasis in the city. If they are not able to actually see the sculptures from their lofty nests, at least they'll see the tree tops.

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