DALLAS — It was a normal day in downtown Dallas in June. The heat and humidity were bearing down on me with intense aggression, the traffic on Harry Hines Boulevard was jammed as usual, and glare beaming off of Museum Tower almost blinded me as I made my way to the arts district. Destination? The Nasher Sculpture Center, to see the installation by Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse. WUNDERBLOCK, which opened June 1 and runs until September, features site-specific works by the artist that blur the lines between painting, sculpture, and installation.
DALLAS — Dallas. It’s a city, it’s a vintage television soap opera, and it’s the home of Bush 43. But it’s also a hub of contemporary art? Though this Texas-sized city has a reputation for big hair, football, barbecue, and twang, it also has a long history of support for the visual arts. From the Dallas Museum of Art to the Nasher Sculpture Centre, the Dallas Contemporary, and their rival Fort Worth (which boasts the Amon Carter Museum, the Fort Worth Modern and the internationally renowned Kimbell Museum), the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has it all. The area’s artistic holdings feature ancient Greco-Roman antiquities, Michelangelo’s first painting, and major exhibitions by contemporary artists like Olafur Eliasson and Kara Walker. Yet as great as these institutions are, one of the most interesting places to view art in Dallas is in a shopping mall.
This sounds like it should be a strange, ritualistic superstition or some kind of weird psychological study, but it’s not — the Dallas Museum of Art, in cooperation with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy with an exhibition that recreates the last selection of art the president saw before he was murdered.
The town government of Suwanee, Georgia approved an ordinance which would ask all real estate developers to donate 1% of the budget of the building cost toward a public art project. The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, “Where many struggling cities see public art as an extravagance these days, Suwanee, on firmer ground financially, sees it as a key to a prosperous future.”