What is art?

What is art? It is completely subjective, that’s what it is. What one person may call a piece of art another may not. Some art is very realistic or recognizable while other art is completely abstract not in the slightest resembling what it says it is. With my recent adventure to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Downtown Dallas I experienced a full gamut of what art “is.”

The Nasher’s collection is vast with works from classic masters to modern up-and-comers. I visited at the beginning of August while two temporary exhibits were open. My sister and I enjoyed meandering through the sculpture garden and galleries enjoying and interpreting the art.

Statuesque (a walk through the garden)

Our first gallery to visit was their sculpture garden behind the building. It seems there is just as much if not more exhibition space in the garden as in the building. Many of the sculptures in the garden were very big. Some were part of the Nasher’s collection while many were part of the exhibition Statuesque, which first exhibited in New York City.

My favorite pieces in the garden included Moonbird also called The Lunar Bird and Rush Hour. There is also a large composite rock sculpture from Picasso. From the Statuesque collection, I really liked the sculptures by Aaron Curry. Statuesque is on display until 21 August 2011.

Even in the extreme heat (I think it was around 114 degrees while we were there) the garden is a pleasant walk. There are many trees that provide shade and fountains. You can walk on the grass if you want a closer look at the sculptures and can get some fun pics with them, just don’t touch them.

Swimming in Balloons

Our next stop was the other temporary exhibit in their downstairs gallery by Martin Creed. The first signs of this exhibit come by way of piano sounds you can hear throughout the building. As you go downstairs you find out where the sound was coming from, the lower set of steps leading to the gallery are set up with a piano synthesizer making each step platform another note on the scale. It’s a fun introduction to the exhibit since you see a big room full of balloons  as you’re walking down this giant keyboard .

We were drawn right to the balloons because you don’t just look at them but you get to get lost in them. There are around 9,000 balloons in this room that makes a pool of balloons about eight feet deep. Someday, I want to recreate this experience with my family because its lots and lots of fun.

Outside the balloons at the bottom of the piano stairs are more sculptures from Creed. These sculptures bring me back to my opening thoughts on what art is. His other displayed works included a stack of plywood about eight feet tall, a pile of nine boxes stacked from largest to smallest, and a line of cacti from tall to short. I really liked the cacti but the plywood and boxes seemed a little bit of a stretch. After all, I have a pile of boxes in my closet and my mom has lots of piles of boxes in the garage, and I’ve seen stacks of plywood like that at Home Depot or Lowes. This exhibit was extended until 21 August 2011.


The rest of the exhibit space we saw focused on sculptures of the body. Some were very literal and others very abstract. This collection includes many pieces from masters we’ve all heard of such as Matisse, Picasso and Rodin. Honestly, I didn’t know that Picasso and Matisse were sculptors. I thought of them as painters.

One of my favorite pieces at the whole museum was in this exhibit, Quantum Cloud XX (tornado). It looks so cool. I didn’t see the human figure in the midst of the little metal Ts but when I looked at it from another angle I could see it clearly. I also liked the three Diego sculptures by Alberto Giacometti.

Overall the Nasher Sculpture Center is a great adventure. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also have third Fridays late night events with live music and movies in the garden.

What is art to you?

Side Note: The museum store is an official dealer of Ittala glass. I love this stuff from Finland, beautiful glassware for the kitchen and as decorative accents for any room.

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