Thoughts on Texas

Recently, Richard was fortunate to make a trip to Texas to see work by some art and architecture heroes.

The Nasher Sculpture Center and Garden by Renzo Piano and Peter Walker respectively is an oasis in the middle of downtown Dallas. The architecture is subdued and elegant, almost deferential to an amazing garden where Mr Nasher has adopted a Noah’s Ark approach, though he only has one of everything (Moore, Hepworth, Rodin, Serra, Leger etc).

Renzo also gets in on the act along the highway in the sister city of Fort Worth, designing a respectful Pavilion accompaniment to the beautiful Kimbell Museum by Louis Kahn. To pass an hour or two in and around Kahn’s building is a very calming experience, the simplicity of the detailing in noticeable contrast to the Pavilion’s overtly displayed precise engineering.

On via planes and automobiles to Marfa, a place in the middle of nowhere that is hard to describe. Surreal, charming and surprising is a start. It was put on the map by Donald Judd of course and a visit to the Chinati is a pilgrimage that will live long in the memory. As will Robert Irwin’s invited piece, truly somewhere between art and architecture, something to experience if you possibly can.

The takeaway from these visits is that whilst they are all impressive in their own way, beautifully executed simplicity wins every time, in every context, be it city centre, suburban or rural.

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