I’m now back from a great couple of days in Dallas and Fort Worth. At the end of August I treated myself to a birthday present of a membership to the Modern Fort Worth. So many things happened within the next month that I only now have been able to go to the show I really wanted to see…………Declaring Space. The show was going to end the next day after my visit Friday. Noticing from the website that they have a First Friday music event for members, I got my daughter to go along with me and we even made a dinner reservation there.

Not being a critic, I’ll just say that it is a great show. I got the catalog but the pictures just can’t do justice to the work. More than just the scale, the colors of the work with color is lacking when you can’t see it in person. Of course, I will say right off that my favorite piece has got to be the Rothko Untitled 1954 with the orange, red and blue and the wonderful Orange, Red and Red. Just gorgeous and the pictures hardly show the variation in the color from orange to red.

One artist I knew of but really didn’t know much about was Frenchman Yves Klein. He died at such a young age (34) and must have been consumed with portraying his life and art. We had a place to sit and watch a video of some of his models covering their nude bodies with paint and then being positioned or positioning themselves as directed. A performance indeed……….and none of those models was fat and dumpy either. He even made a performance of his wedding.

I, also, learned more about Italian artist Lucio Fontana. In fact, a couple of his pieces are among my other favorites. I wouldn’t have said so just from looking at the catalog, however. One was painted on tin and the metal just doesn’t photograph well. The “cuts” or “tagli” paintings were not my favorite but the process of cutting into and stabbing into his substrates and the adding of elements was intriguing to me. One huge one was blue and had hidden lighting behind it…..beautiful like the night sky. Others had wonderful texture and gradations that are only appreciated in person. His work wasn’t all huge like most of the others……….more intimate and drew you into looking closer.

Never that much a fan of Barnett Newman, I really enjoyed seeing his work here. I suppose his stainless and cor-ten steel sculpture, Here III was my personal favorite.I also liked Achilles since it broke away a little from the stark vertical and horizontal “zips” and had a more organic shaping in the lower quadrant.I don’t know the titles of the two with the stark black (sort of brown and almost gray) stripes. They aren’t in the catalog but I imagine they are really hard to photograph. Due to surface textures and paint handling they took on a slightly different tone or color like damask does. Very interesting to see in person.

All four of these artists declared their own personal view of space. It’s wonderful that they could be in the forefront of abstract painting and sculpture as well as performance art and still be enjoyed today as much as they were in their hey-day. It was also a great choice as a venue for this exhibit since the Modern Fort Worth is a work of art spatially as well.

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