Dallas – Fort Worth road trip

By 7:10 am, a couple of friends, Brian, and I are headed north on I-35. There is always new construction, but the unwavering flatness of the land is familiar and unforgettable. Childishly, I am proud to show it to one of our friends for the first time. That Texas pride; that pride in home.

The first stop on our road trip is Lucian Freud: Portraits at the Fort Worth Modern. Well, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to be exact. I really like calling it the Ft. Worth Modern, though. I think they’ll like it more as Fort Worth becomes a larger city. The show is fantastic. I’m much less familiar with Freud’s work than the rest of our party. I’m sure this is usually the case, but I’m not shy about my learning-state.

Visiting this space reminds me how wondrous it is to have a building of that caliber that can also exhibit works well and thoroughly. The Modern has a beautiful collection. I was happy to stumble upon a Bill Viola video with surround sound. Seeing Agnes Martin in the museum after I read about her was better than seeing her in a stuffy gallery in NYC when I did not know anything about her.

It soon became apparent to me that seeing art with others is a special experience in itself. Brian is someone I bounce ideas off of, who points out things I don’t see, explains the myriad methods of printmaking, questions me, and expands my thoughts. Some friends come to me to ask questions, some are like kids in a candy shop, some like to be left alone, but make sure you don’t leave anything out, etc., etc.,

We high-tailed it to Dallas to visit the Nasher Sculpture Center. Neto’s installation is fun, it’s an experience – as an installation should be. The volunteer/staff member who was handing out blue booties was one of the best guides I’ve ever come across. She was nice, informative, and warm. Go figure! The Nasher has customer service down pat.

We lunched in the museum cafe and I thought this would be a wonderful membership to have. If I had the extra money and flexibility, I would likely work in museum cafes. I had looked forward to sitting in Turrell’s work. I know I’ve read before that it had been closed. I knew it. But, you  know, it slipped my mind because I wanted so much to be in it.

Downstairs, we stumbled upon Erick Swenson, who’s work Brian has shown me over and over. Like the surprise of free admission to Ft. Worth Modern, we (especially Brian) ecstatically enjoyed the downstairs “Sightings” exhibition (kid in the candy shop sort of thing). I always find the Nasher pleasantly surprising. Their collection gallery is small but thorough. Give me a Duchamp brother and I’m quite happy.

Next up? Well, we didn’t have enough time to visit the DMA, so we hit the Crow Collection for Art. It has to be done every once in awhile. I’m interested to see how they change over time. If it were cooler, I would have made more use of their porches.

We headed down the street to The Reading Room (suggested by Jaime) to see Eric Zimmerman‘s Telltale Ashes & Endless Disharmony. The Reading Room is absolutely charming (yes, we did stop to see the motorcycles at the meet-up down the street). It reminded me of us, just doing it where ever we could. It was especially nice to speak with the owner, because I’m always curious about these people who end up in places doing this type of thing. I felt like I was missing something, because I did, in fact, miss the performance the Friday before and who knows if I’ll make it down to see the companion show at Art Palace. The trials and tribulations of time, distance, and obligations.

Oliver Francis Gallery gave us an appointment as well. We drove around a bit to waste time. Viewed some Dallas architecture and broke some traffic laws. You know, things you must do on a road trip. A few laughs later, we found ourselves in a sort of scrappy gallery space. I say that in the most endearing way ever. OF gallery is not blue chip but very awesome and very Austin-like. Kevin Jacobs is doing it and doing it in Dallas. I say hell yes to that! The work there was solid and, frankly, it was nice to talk to a fellow gallerist who is just doing their thing and loves art and it as much as we do.

A coffee date with Ben Lima followed up our quick hop through museums and galleries. What was extremely pleasant about meeting Ben after knowing him digitally  was the ease of being able to share ideas and chat. You know I’m a huge Twitter fan, but the reality is that it enables us to reach out to people we want to work with and know more about.

The trip ended with a nice dinner with my parents, new pots, some odd desserts, and a nap on the way home.

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