Monday, December 28, 2015

Get Your Culture On At The Dallas Museum Of Art

After many hours of channel surfing yesterday, I decided I needed to get out of the house - but it was rainy and cold. What to do? I decided to head to the Dallas Museum of Art. I haven't been in a while and they currently have two great exhibits happening: Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots and International Pop. It was the boost I needed to get me off the couch and into my car towards Downtown. While admission to the DMA is free, you do need a special ticket to view these two exhibits. So, for the cost of a movie, you can take in an afternoon of culture... Sounded like a fair deal to me.

International Pop chronicles the global emergence of Pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibition examines work from artists across the globe who were confronting radical developments, laying the foundation of the emergence of an art form that embraced figuration, media strategies, and mechanical processes with a new spirit of urgency and/or exuberance. This groundbreaking exhibition follows the trajectories of Pop and its critical points of contact with global developments in art such as Nouveau Réalisme (France), Concretism and Neo-Concretism (Brazil), The Art of Things (Argentina), Anti-Art (Japan), Capitalist Realism (Germany), Happenings, and Neo-Dada. You can check out this fun exhibit through January 17, 2016.

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots is only the third major U.S. museum exhibition to focus solely on the artist hailed as “the greatest painter this country has ever produced.” Personally, I think his work is crap - but that's just me. Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots offers critical new scholarship on this understudied yet pivotal period in the artist’s career and provides radical new insights into Pollock’s practice.

With more than 70 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, the exhibition will first introduce audiences to Pollock’s work via a selection of his classic drip paintings made between 1947 and 1950. These works will serve to contextualize the radical departure represented by the black paintings, a series of black enamel paintings that Pollock created between 1951 and 1953. An unprecedented 31 black paintings will be included in the DMA presentation. Exhibiting works from the height of the artist’s celebrity set against his lesser known paintings will offer the opportunity to appreciate Pollock’s broader ambitions as an artist, and to better understand the importance of the “blind spots” in his practice. This exhibit will be on display through March 20, 2016.

What I like about the DMA is that they have a little something for everyone. Their collection contains over 23,000 works of art from all cultures and time periods spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. You can drool over gold and jewelry from the Roman Empire, admire the intricacy of Asian and Chinese vases and sculptures, ponder furniture and home accessories from the 1960s, view Arabic scrolls and writings, gaze at glass art from Dale Chihuly... so many random collections from all over the world!

I personally love the The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. The Reves collection is housed in an elaborate 15,000-square-foot reproduction of the couple' home in France, the Villa La Pausa, where the works were originally displayed. La Pausa was built by the fashion designer Coco Chanel in 1927, and some of the original furniture is kept in its context. Among the 1,400 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper Emery Reves had collected are works from leading impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist artists, including Paul Cézanne, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh. An extremely fine collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures include very fine bronze casts, rare marble like the first version of the "Sirens", a unique piece "The poet and contemplative life" from the Fenaille family and even an unusual original wax piece. An extensive accompanying collection of decorative arts works includes Chinese export porcelain; European furniture; Oriental and European carpets; iron, bronze, and silver work; European glass; and rare books. Memorabilia of the Reves' friendship with English statesman Winston Churchill, a frequent guest at La Pausa, is housed in the wing as well.

Join me in getting off the couch and over to the DMA for some art & culture. You won't be sorry. The DMA is located at 1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201.