Esmeralda Mata & Miranda Estrada
Our last day in North Texas was short, but still allowed us to see a couple of interesting places that tied into other art, artists and architects we’ve been exposed to during this trip.
Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (“The Modern”) was completely different from the Kimbell Art Museum we visited earlier in the trip. There is a clear distinction between classic, older art and modern, newer art. And the name belies it’s rich history: The Modern is actually the oldest museum in Texas and one of the oldest museums in the western United States, founded by 20 women when Texas was only 47 years old.
Much of the permanent collection was displaced by two special exhibits: “David Park: A Retrospective” and “Disappearing—California, c. 1970: Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, Jack Goldstein.” Park, like many avant-garde American artists, engages the viewer with his expressionism and nonobjective painting. We did not spend a lot of time in Park’s exhibit, but we did find his portrayal of human figures interesting.
Despite its level abstraction, the human figure is still commonly used in Modern Art, as in Henry Moore’s “Reclining Figure.”
It took Miranda and me a few moments to figure out, but we did catch it when looking at it from the correct angle. Miranda, like many, prefers art that is more representational and not as abstract. Esmie’s favorite (and we all agreed, the creepiest) art was in the “Disappearing” exhibit. These artists poignantly “disappeared” as a response to the anxiety of the 1970s—racial tensions, political assassinations, the war in Vietnam, and the war on poverty.
The exhibit was mostly black and white (color disappeared), and showcased such tangible items as the survival kits from the artists.
In “The Reason for the Neutron Bomb,” for example, Chris Burden covers the floor with 50,000 matches and 50,000 pennies, each representing one Soviet tank, a symbol of the tension and fear of the Cold-War era.
We also saw Jenny Holzer’s work. Holzer uses language to communicate her art, and this piece illustrates her style well.
It was a beautiful structure, and we learned some interesting new artists, but we had one more stop before calling it a trip.
Our last stop on the trip was Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas. Thanks-Giving Square was designed by Philip Johnson, who also designed the Fort Worth Water Gardens which we visited earlier in the trip. Thanks-Giving Square was created with a sunken design.
By sinking the park below ground and incorporating water features into the park, visitors have a peaceful place to contemplate, free from the typical noises of a downtown area. The Thanks-Giving Square also features a mosaic by Normal Rockwell, “Golden Rule” (Rockwell places himself in the mosaic, in a cameo).
We both really enjoyed the Thanks-Giving Chapel with the featured “Glory Window” by Gabriel Loire. The “Glory Window” is a stained glass piece that cascades up in a spiral to the top of the chapel.
This Sunday, the sun was shining which illuminated the stained glass, making it very beautiful, and a positive spin to the end of a positively engaging trip.