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.
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!
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.
When you look too closely at something you can form a skewed image in your mind about what it is. When you back up it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend what you’re really seeing now that you have the full picture. Context makes all the difference. We expect things to stay the same forever, but they change so frequently and rapidly that our minds don’t have the capacity to adjust. We hold on to old ideas and anything that is comfortable to keep us safe. Denying that things have changed only means that you, yourself, have not changed. The world cannot be slowed.
Art museums are everywhere, but they are not all the same. While I’ve seen versions of Donald Judd’s Untitled sculpture in more cities than I can count, the body of work at a city’s art museum can vary as much as the weather while you travel. Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum is a fantastic collection of all types of art with great rotating special exhibitions as well. Along with all of the fantastic work on display, the museum itself is a perfect blend of classic architecture and modern design that make navigation only slightly confusing (which is saying a lot for a museum.)
Austin, Texas has been a mixture of busy and lazy. We have seen a lot, done a little, and eaten way too much. On a lazy day, we strolled through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, where Charles Umlauf’s many sculptures adorn a gorgeous open space of green. The little ponds and bridges made the shaded walk feel like a real day off as we learned about his incredible work ethic and attention to detail and meaning in his pieces. The Diver is a rendering of Umlauf’s son, and across the pond is “The Kiss” in a very intimate and romantic location. A lot of thought was put into the placement and spacing of the work, and the garden was a great place I would love to visit again.
On our way through Texas we had a chance to stop in El Paso for a day, and it was a really nice time. We checked out the art museum, which had some great local art and a focus on female artists. Along I-10 and driving through the city we could see this large X across the border in Juarez. It was created by Chihuahuan artist Sebastian, and it represents the mixed heritage of Mexican culture as well as the troubled history between the border cities. It was an imposing figure on the horizon as we drove past the bridge into Mexico and headed farther into Texas.
We just got back from a couple of days in D.C. and we had a great time rushing around to do what we wanted to in the short time we were there. One of my favorite museums anywhere is the Hirshhorn Museum, which always has rotating exhibits of amazing contemporary art. This piece, Lawrence Weiner’s “Reduced, Cat. No. 102,” is just the word repeated on windows in a second-floor room of the museum. I love the idea of this and that it is so open to interpretation. As such, I will not spend any time philosophizing on my thoughts about it, but instead I’ll leave it up to anyone viewing to do it for themselves; it’s much more fun that way!
Taking a different look at the scenery from my recent snowy images, this is a close up view of ice on the shore along the Maurice River near the Bluffs trails. After a great, long walk we came out to the shore to enjoy the spectacular sunset light on the frozen water and came upon these great little works of art crystallized in the ice. I could have shot thousands of images just inches away from each other and they would all be amazing and unique like this one. They remind us of abstract modern oil paintings, like looking close at a Van Gogh.