It has been a long time since we spent a day in Houston. It is a stop over if you are headed to Bonaire and you don’t want to do the hopper flight from Curacao to Bonaire. We have stopped here before and because of how the flights were scheduled we took the opportunity to take in a bit of the city. This time the stop has purpose. Debbie always wanted to visit the Johnson Space Centre and this time we are headed to see just that.
Our plane arrived early in the day so we decided to tour a couple of the art galleries on our way to the hotel across the street from NASA. There are two areas of Houston where there are concentrations of art exhibits. The place we chose to concentrate our efforts is the Menil Collection. John and Dominique Menil amassed what is said to the “the finest collection of art in the modern era.”
The area has several different buildings with different art in each one. The main building is the Menil’s personal collection. It has pieces dating from 1000 BC Egypt to Modern artists like Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol. There are some iconic pieces like Warhol’s Campbell soup cans and Rene Magritte’s La Folle des Grandeurs (both the sculpture and the painting). Also on display are works by Miro, Max Ernst, Picasso, and Marcel Duchamp.
There is one whole building dedicated to Cy Twombly. The work there was not my favorite but the Menils must of liked it a bunch.
One of the coolest buildings, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel was not open. A bit disappointing. I remember it from the last time we were there and it is quite spectacular. The exterior is a boxy building of modern times but the interior is an interpretation of a chapel all constructed of glass. The website will give you an idea.
The Menil Drawing Institute had two exhibitions. One by Gray Fox, Hyperreal. Several drawings some in graphite, some in ink and wash but all micro detailed. The gallery provided a magnify glass so visitors could have a closer look at them. The fellow must of had a large magnifying glass and a very good pencil sharpener. The second exhibit was by Si Lewen. His subject was mostly war or at least conflict. His drawing style was unique. Much broader pencil strokes but very descriptive.
The last place we visited was the Rothko Chapel. It was built specifically to display the works of Mark Rothko and is a place of contemplation and reflection. A simple place but quite stunning.