This is another view of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. Capturing unique angles as well as the reflection of light on Frank Gehry’s buildings can provide endless possibilities. As the sun went in and out of the clouds the building seemed to change colors and even textures, which you can see several examples of here. From shiny, hard-edged pieces to dull, less reflective bits, it all somehow works together as a cohesive, almost earthly, structure.
The falls were so massive and so far away from where I stood that it was hard to take them in entirely. The Mississippi encompasses such a vast area that it feels like water and bridges is all that exists. The rushing water poured steadily over the falls as the sun fell behind the industrial backdrop and left the blue calm over the area. So many people gather here near sunset that it feels more like a busy city street than an old bridge in the old factory district of Minneapolis. The sound of the falls makes it feel like you’re all alone amongst the crowd.
This well-known sculpture did not disappointment me when I saw it in person. “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is in the beautiful sculpture garden of the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. The park is a nice distraction from the nearby city and highways with a great selection of work by mostly modern and contemporary artists. This sculpture is interesting from all sides and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected. One person did try to walk on it (it is called Spoonbridge after all) and a voice appeared from a hidden speaker telling him to get off. We were clearly being watched. After his warning he quickly ran away and I had my opening to take some photos, so thanks, random security voice!
Surprisingly close to downtown Minneapolis is a beautiful park with a roaring crown jewel in Minnehaha Falls. The falls can be viewed from all angles with the main walkway above and a large series of stairs to get to the base. On a sunny Saturday afternoon there were a lot of people enjoying the park, but it still felt somehow secluded. There were a couple of daring teens that took a walk behind the falls; something I would have done on a less crowded day I’m sure. I’ll wait for the one that’s a little harder to get to.
One of the most unusual and interesting places I visited in Minneapolis was the Mill Ruins near Stone Arch Bridge. The old Gold Medal Flour Mill ruins weren’t torn down, but instead incorporated into the design of the new building. I love the way this city celebrates its roots while openly welcoming the future. There are a lot of historic buildings here as well as so many modern ones, with construction underway on even more. This is definitely a forward-looking city and a beautiful one.
The Weisman Museum of Art had a ton of great pieces that kept me busy examining and reading about for a couple of hours. This piece, James Kielkopf’s Untitled, held my attention for quite a while with its ability to trick my eye into thinking it was a 2-dimensional drawing when it’s actually a hanging sculpture. I love the shadows and the way it changes when you walk around it. Some art you don’t expect to grab you so strongly, but those are the best ones. Seeing some paintings by famous artists I’ve enjoyed intellectually, but others just hit me emotionally and creatively, and they’re usually the ones you didn’t see coming.
Minneapolis has a definite feeling of modernity as you pass by buildings with curves, angles, and textures that feel young and fresh like the city itself. The city isn’t afraid to invite new ideas and embrace them. Frank Gehry’s design of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota is probably one of my favorite that I’ve seen of his work. Sitting on the river, its sleek metal design seems to be right at home. The curves flow with the water and match the billowing clouds above. Inside there is a great modern art museum as well as classes for the University.
While in DC I went to my favorite museum there, the Hirshhorn. They feature modern and contemporary art and continually change their exhibitions so every time I visit there is something new and exciting. Dan Flavon’s untitled (to Helga and Carlo with respect and affection) was on display in a large lower-level floor by itself. The piece itself was amazing, but the idea behind it is even more interesting. It remains mostly the same when shown in different spaces but it changes to fit the room in which it is displayed. It adapts to its surroundings. And the light is soft so you can look at it but once you exit that room and look at anything else it takes a while for your vision to catch up and compensate for the extreme color difference. It was a properly inspiring visit, as always.
It’s fun to look at things from a new perspective sometimes. This view of Parvin Lake that I’ve looked at so many times while the sun goes down seems like a whole new place in this shot from low to the ground at the dam. It’s always one of the best places for sunset and great for a late day run around the water. I’m always glad to find a viewpoint that I haven’t noticed before and feel like this place still has some surprises for me.
Sometimes landscaping can work well in city parks. In this case the water streaming over these rocks into the pond in the center of the park seemed like a whole different place than the park itself. The rest of the park is grassy hills and trees around the water while these imported rocks make it feel like you’re in the middle of hike in the mountains. It’s rare that I like man-made displays like this but it was nice to see one that seemed more natural than fake.