Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Menil Collection and Silence

Andy Warhol Big Electric Chair, 1967 © 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of the artist Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston

ModernHouston.net repost back in September 2012.

Houston has several high quality art institutions to visit, but the one I frequent the most is the Menil Collection. Nearly every time I find myself in downtown Houston, I manage to visit at least one building of this sprawling museum campus. I have always found the museum calming and quiet, so when the museum launched the exhibition of Silence, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate show for the space.

The Menil Collection is Houston’s art heart. You can feel the weight of the contemporary masters when you walk into the main building. Although I have seen the surrealist art countless times, I am drawn into the room for another look. The rotating shows are often monumental exhibitions and their collection of Modern artists helps establish Houston as an art capitol. I remember once when they were repairing the Rothko Chapel, the museum had moved his large painting into the main building. Seeing the painting on white walls nearly floored me. When they shuffle their collection, between traveling exhibitions, you get to see the curators attempting to create new relationships between works. In handling their permanent collection, I have not been disappointed with their decisions.

Although the museum is free, I seldom leave without dropping some cash at their book store. I can’t help myself; I’m addicted to exhibition catalogs. I remember the Art Guys placing a piece in the store, though the work was kind of goofy, I was happy to see a local presence of contemporary artists on the museum campus.

I implore anyone in the Houston area that is looking for a moment of peace and quiet, with a great deal of powerful and important art concentrated in one area to join me in frequenting the Menil Collection. And don’t be surprised if you are shocked now and then by some of their shows, because it is always important to give your aesthetic muscles a good work out now and then.

ModernHouston.net for more images of the show.

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