Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

When in Kansas City for the SDA conference, I was able to attend one of the pre-opening receptions for the new addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of art in Kansas City. Architect Steven Holl's completed Bloch building is absolutely beautiful, and has been positively reviewed in the New York Times, Time magazine and the New Yorker. Most of the exhibition space in this addition (nine glass pavilions) is underground, but the viewer is not aware of this. The ceilings are curved and the walls are soaring. The glass walls have been treated some how to protect the art from the UV rays from the sun, and so a wonderful natural light is available for viewing the art.
The art. I was blown away by the collection. Personal favourites were a painting by Matisse of a woman seated in front of a black background, a Louise Nevelson painted wood sculpture, a wonderful Kiki Smith installation, and the first Mark Rothko painting that I've seen in real life. (Untitled, No. 11, 1963)
The architect, Steven Holl, has also designed an art gallery in Helsinki Finland and my architect son is in Helsinki right now! In a recent email he told me that for me he would go see the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art by Steven Holl, but that he was more interested in seeing all the Alvor Aalto buildings around the city as they are classics and Aalto is a very inspiring humanitarian.

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