Menil Collection, Houston
Here are my after-the-visit thoughts on this gallery in Houston.
Set in beautiful old location, with old houses very like Manila as was. Trees, birds (Mynah?), fat red squirrels runing all over the place. Lawns. Manicured but not too much.
- Byzantine Chapel — beautiful, but much less actually physically there than I’d thought. Christ Pantocrater staring from dome, gentle madonna, Michael and Gabriel, John the Baptist leading the prayers below Christ.
- Rothko — aaagh — all black and humming. Like 2001. Got out of there fast. Bamboo, tall, round rectangular pool with iron sculpture in middle (see pics).
- Cy Twombly— most of it pretty dire, with those scribblings on enormous canvases, but the ‘blackboard’ pictures were different, like sparks of energy/life, traces in a cloud chamber, river running fast over stony bottom with traces of unseen things dancing around over the surface, boats at anchor (Venice), people in a cinema/theatre. Also, the brilliant quote from Archilochus: “In the hospitality of war we left them their dead as a gift to remember us by”.
- Richmond Hall/Dan Flavin installation — left me a little cold. Lots of fluorescent lights in neat rows. Hmmm.
- Ernst exhibition shut.
- Antiquities — Fantastic marble pieces from c. 2,700 BC from the Cyclades, delicate pieces that looked modern, very surprising. Later (700BC) Boeotian stuff much cruder. Fayum portraits. Lovely blue and white plate from Urbino.
- Klee – line drawings, old skyscrapers, unfolding, Sand dune with flowers
- Schwitters – merz, ocolate, bacco
- Arp — blue with white and black, small
- Cezanne – Tholonet picture of trees
- Picabia — Printemps, with lots of flowers
- Leger — lots
- Magritte — the world’s supply, inc “The Dominion of Light”
- Calder — mobile large and small
- Man Ray — photos, inc of solarised Lee Miller I think, and drawings
- di Chirico — too much
- Jackson Pollock — one, in the hallway
- Rauschenburg — black, night blooming
- Barnett Newman — blue Ulysses, also a thin red/black, a large white/black/white and a pastel green/black/pastel green Renzo Piano building