It’s no secret that I love the Dallas Museum of Art. My Facebook pals probably got tired of my almost daily reminders that they needed to see the DMA Bouquets exhibition. They won’t be hearing much from me during this latest show.
I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. That’s why you should belong to the DMA. We tell ourselves we ought to get down to the Dallas Arts District more often – but do we?
I’ll confess, I’m not there as often as I’d like to be. The fact that I’m currently living in Wylie has something to do with it, but let’s face it, we forget. The museum regularly has events for its members and thank goodness I’m one. The events remind me to go.
Choose Your Poison
To keep me informed, the museum sends a quarterly magazine with the big picture, email blurbs to remind me of certain events and then sometimes we get a fancy full-color invitation in the mail. The most recent mailing offered us a choice of opening receptions: Michael Borremans in March or Inca in May.
My inclination was to opt for the Incas, but the intriguing picture above convinced Bill he’d rather see Mr. Borremans. With an exhibition tagline like “As sweet as it gets,” I figured it sounded pretty good. We sent in our reservation and marked our calendars.
Getting There Was Not Half the Fun
Hubby and I hang around the house on most Friday nights and occasionally I have a wistful moment, wishing for those romantic dates that used to occur at the end of the work week. Then we’ll try to get to the DMA from Wylie one Friday night and I’m cured for months. Of the three and a half hours away from home, only an hour and a half was spent at the DMA. Have I mentioned that I hate living in Wylie?
A Few Bites
The DMA’s opening receptions include light hors d’oeuvres. When I was a kid (enjoying the receptions on my Mom’s membership) light hors d’oeuvres was usually a generous display of fruits and cheeses. Later is was lighter on the fruit and cheese, while offering oceans of brightly colored tostada chips with salsa. Nowadays its a mixed bag. We’ll go one time and be offered enough food to feed an army on the march. Next time it’s tiny bites on skewers.
For this soiree, the emphasis was on veggies. There were offerings of asparagus and brussel sprouts, as well as two kinds of potatoes. One potato dish claimed to be a stew, but it looked and tasted like mashed potatoes with gravy. There were also french fries with catsup and mayonnaise. On another table were tea trays of what looked to be handmade truffles, but on closer inspection proved to be tiny meatballs. Not bad, but disappointing to a mouth ready for chocolate.
Art is my thing. When I travel, art museums are my primary destination. I’ve taken all kinds of art classes and my degree is in Arts and Performance. I read novels about artists. I watch TV shows about art and archaeology. Still, my favorite part of an opening reception is not the snacks, it’s the Preview Talk.
Who is the artist? How did he come to choose art as a profession? Who influenced him? Do I know some of his works? Where does he fit in history? These are the questions I was asking myself as I claimed a seat in the Horchow Auditorium, because Michael Borremans is not a household name – at least not at my house.
We started with the obligatory welcome and words of appreciation for us, the members who help them afford to mount the exhibitions, and the staff responsible for the installation. In this case the curator-in-charge was relatively new to the museum and he gave creds to those who had been working on the installation for almost a decade.
Things started out well, but then they put up a slide which looked like a mass murder super-imposed onto a museum postcard. Then the guy started talking about existentialism. That and the Irish accent inspired Bill to take an early exit. I try really hard to appreciate art that isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I could tell one walk- through was going to do it for this exhibit.
Pieces and parts are wonderful. Take the picture on the invitation above, for instance. The attention to detail is awesome. The intensity of the white – devine. And fragilty? Yes, it’s there. A room devoted to drawings and models of a really weird building without windows or doors? I’m taking the express train.
In some of the paintings and drawings I found things I could identify with and contemplate, but then he’d throw in something that just made it weird. Life throws me enough curve balls that I don’t feel inspired to tolerate them in my leisurely appreciation of art objects.
Now if you like the macabre and seriously odd, then you might truly enjoy this exhibit and that’s why I’m taking time to tell you about it. If, on the other hand, you prefer to be entertained by the beautiful, then like me, you can go to the Bass Collection which is currently being exhibited at the Kimbell over in Ft. Worth (through May 24th).
If you do go to the DMA to see Borremans, here’s a few things that they said too look for: symbols of overpowering authority, an attempt at creating a “found” look in his drawings, references to the Belgian occupation of the Congo and surrealism. Personally, I’m looking forward to the opening of Incas: Conquests of the Andes, which will open up in the last few days of the Kimbell’s current exhibit.