Last month I got to visit Houston for a second time and I have to say - Houston is one of my favorite places to view art. There are such amazing museums and so many of them are FREE! In New York you get used to paying up to $20 for a visit to the museum so free art viewing is such a treat. I always feel that this kind of museum set up allows me to really take my time in the space and not feel that I have to see everything in one go.
Photos aren't allowed at the Menil collections, and I wasn't trying to sneak any in - so! I'm going to attach some photos I pulled from the Menil's website here. These are some of the things I got to see and enjoyed the most. And I finally got to see Dan Flavin's exhibit at the Menil! Ahhh!!!! Its so incredibly beautiful. I had seen so many photos on instagram and all over the interweb and just had to see it. I've become so interested in Flavin's work since I saw his exhibit at Dia:Beacon. Fluorescent lights as art have become so "hip" but Flavin's work cuts through that all. Yes, its beautiful and makes a great insta photo. But his large installations really do make you stop and take it in. Its so much bigger than a photo. The lights feel like they have a pulse. His process and work are a big inspiration for me right now.
There was also a very interesting collection of pieces collected and curated by Francis Alÿs. "The Fabiola Project" is a collection of reproductions by novice and unknown artists found and positioned by Alÿs. There is a video in the exhibit that talks about his interest in the Fabiola and how the project began. The video felt like such an integral part of the exhibit to me. Alÿs' approach is more about exploration and investigation than creativity and curation and that really intrigued me. I love to hear artists talk about their work, and this collection is shown in such an intimate space - viewing the video really felt like the perfect precursor to the artwork.
One of the best things about visiting the Menil is that each building is a beautiful work of art in itself. The architecture of each building is so unique. This particular collection is being shown in the Byzantine Chapel which is stunning from the outside. I really fell in love with the Houston Museum District on this trip. The area feels so modern, yet open, airy and connected with nature! It's the complete opposite of New York in the best way. It's also one of the only areas where you can get up and walk around! I loved being able to do that and see the arhictecture of the buildings in the warm weather.
If you're in or near Houston the Menil is a must see. There's seven buildings, two institutions and parks! There is seriously so much to see and it's such a nice way to spend a day (or two...or three.....). My entire trip was spent basically drooling over beautiful things. All the art at the Menil Collections and tacos. Obviously, tacos. Ha!