Sunday, October 9, 2011

Art at NorthPark Center

Mark di Suvero, Ad Astra, painted steel, 2005

NorthPark Center opened in Dallas in 1965.  I moved to Dallas with my family in 1969.  I was instantly in awe of NorthPark mall the first time my mom drove us into the city from the suburb of Richardson.  All of these years later I am still in awe of NorthPark Center, and since I live just a few freeway exits south I visit the Center all the time!

Barry Flanagan, Large Leaping Hare, gold leaf over bronze, on painted tubular-steel base, 1982

Ad Astra and Large Leaping Hare are my favorite sculptures in the Center.  Flanagan's Hares are so joyous to me.  I love seeing his sculptures at the art fairs when they are available.

Andy Warhol, silk screen prints

The Warhol prints are some of my earliest memories of art in the Center.  I didn't take any visual art classes in school after the middle grades.  The art at the Center was really my only connection to fine art until I was in my twenties.

Antony Gormley, Three Places, lead, fiberglass, and plaster, 1983

These early lead works are some of the first Gormley sculpted in which he used his own body as the model. Gormley's website states "In Three Places the body cases completely enclose the internal form, making it hermetic. The pieces identify three basic body postures - lying, sitting, and standing."  NorthPark Center is a perfect setting for this sculpture.  The Center is hermetically sealed from the external elements, and one can find thousands of items to enclose their own body while lying, sitting, or standing.

Frank Stella, Washington Island Gadwall (Exotic Birds), crayon, enamel and glitter on aluminum, 
1980 - 81

This piece is huge at almost 12 feet by 19 feet and it curves almost 2 feet off of the wall.
It is hung 10 feet off of the floor, if not higher.  Hard to photograph well, but it certainly demands attention in person!

Joel Shapiro, 20 Elements, wood and casein paint, 2005

There are many photos of this sculpture on the web.  This is my usual view of the Shapiro as I make my way through the Center.  The plants are constantly changed throughout the year.

Jim Dine, The Field of the Cloth of Gold, painted bronze, 1987 - 88

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Corridor Pin, Blue, stainless steel and painted aluminum, 1999

The Center completely surrounds a 1.4 acre landscaped garden named CenterPark.  

Jonathan Borofsky, Hammering Men, mechanized painted steel plate and Cor-Ten steel, 1984 - 85

There are five of these giant hammering sculptures in this area of the Center.  I believe there is at least one other non-moving Hammering Man outside on the outer perimeter of the Center.  The mechanical sounds these sculptures make add a counterpoint to the cacophony of human voices that echo through the Center, adding yet another artistic element to the experience.

Anish Kapoor, The World Turned Outside In, polished stainless steel, 2003
collection of Louis Vuitton

NorthPark Center began as the brainchild of real estate developer Raymond Nasher.  When the Center first opened in 1965 it was the largest climate-controlled retail center in the world. Raymond and his wife, Patsy, began collecting art around the same time NorthPark Center was being built.  Nasher later gave the lead gift for the creation of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

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