|Nasher Sculpture Garden - Diana Al-Hadid
Dallas Museum of Art - Mark Bradford
by Todd Camplin
It has been a while since I made the rounds to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture
Garden, but I just had to see Diana Al-Hadid’s and Mark Bradford’s work in person. Both artists
have monumental works that are a must see for anyone interested in art.
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|Diana Al-Hadid’s sculpture “The Tower of Infinite Problems”, on display at the Nasher, has what looks
to be like an architectural wreckage. I imagine that this structure might have been a steeple from
a church. I don’t know that Al-Hadid is referencing the separation of art from religion in
contemporary life, but you can certainly see some sort of cataclysmic divide has occurred. There
are some beautiful panels of honeycomb that appear to be part of an interior wall of the steeple
structure. As you walk around the work, you can see a kind of stair step octagon that reflects the
shapes of the smaller honeycombs. I feel as if I am looking at an artifact of an important structure
that has just had a fragment saved. The work reminds me when I visited Ephesus in Turkey. There
was so much partial reconstruction of buildings and you felt that what ever was saved becomes
all that more important to preserve.
|Mark Bradford, "Scorched Earth," 2006. Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions,
acrylic gel medium, carbon paper, acrylic paint, bleach, and additional mixed media on canvas,
94-1/2 x 118 inches. Collection of Dennis and Debra Scholl. © Mark Bradford
|Mark Bradford’s collages are like maps of cities that are dense in places and sprawling in all
directions. There are so many little details to see as so much goes unnoticed in the work. I think
I could have done better service to the works if I would have visited the show for about and
hour a day for a straight week. The images are so rich with visual information that I needed
to rest between works. Bradford’s urban landscapes are made from the little bits of city
refuge and then worked over heavily to make something purely breathtaking.
Mark Bradford is showing at the Dallas Museum of Art and Diana Al-Hadid’s work “The Tower
of Infinite Problems” at the Nasher Sculpture Garden. Both will be on display until January
15th and if your'e not a member of these two great institutions, you should really think
about supporting them.
|Mark Bradford's show at the Dallas Museum of Art will likely have a life changing affect on
me. I have been greatly effected by blockbuster museum shows. In my second year as an
undergraduate, I went to see a Matisse show and the following year I had the opportunity
to view Picasso at the High Museum in Atlanta. You might say it ruined me for a while. Then
a Degas show, around the same time, introduced me to chalk pastels. Being exposed to
countless art galleries and museum shows has further shaped my work, and seeing all these
shows has helped me find my voice. But few shows since those first few have spurred me on to
experiment in different directions, or at least make me rethink about other forms. Bradford
has made me rethink the collage.
|Diana Al-Hadid, The Tower of Infinite Problems, 2008
|Mark Bradford, "A Truly Rich Man Is One Whose Children Run Into His Arms Even When His Hands are Empty," 2008.