Above: “There are other worlds but they are in this one,” surrealist poet Paul Eluard, 1895-1952, artist Dora Garcia, 2018
The substantial 1824 brick building, Entrepot Laine, that houses Bordeaux’s Contemporary Art Museum originally was designed as a warehouse for produce shipped in from French colonies. Neglected on a wharf on the Garonne on the edge of the Chartrons District, it was purchased by the city in 1974 and repurposed to showcase French and international works of contemporary art.
When we were there the nave of the museum was dedicated to “Absalon Absalon,” an exhibition continuing through February 1 that showcases the interrupted work of Meir Eshel (1964-1993). After a stint in the Israeli military service, Eschel moved to Paris in 1987 and enrolled in a workshop in the Ecole Nationale Superiure des Beaux Arts. He changed his name to Absalon, a rebellious son featured in the Old Testament. The biblical figure of Absalon was vanquished and murdered, forever associated with the idea of revolt ending in tragedy.
Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: And the artist went out screaming…”
Above, “Memento Mori,” by Rodrigo de la Sierra
Dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of modern and contemporary art in the Yucatan, the Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Museum opened in 1994 in a prominent landmark (built in 1573) on Merida’s Plaza Mayor adjacent to the Cathedral. A passageway between the two was enclosed with glass in 2001 and offers the opportunity to house large works for the public to interact with on a daily basis.
The main exhibition while we were in Merida early this year placed Timoteo in the spotlight. The plump, elfin-like, endearing Timo allows artist Rodrigo de la Sierra “to embrace the subtle art of the metaphor.”
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Ruby City, designed by architect Sir David Adjaye Obe
I like to collaborate with artists that see space and structure as integral to their work. It involves a merging of skills and aesthetics to create something that has more potential than either discipline can achieve on its own.
Architect David Adjaye
That desire must have made Linda Pace (1945-2007) an ideal client for the architect of international renown, for the passionate collector of art was an artist herself. Writing for The Guardian just prior to the October 2019 opening of the Linda Pace Foundation’s Ruby City in San Antonio, Adjaye noted that Ruby City is an:
…example of how place and history are always important. Linda… had cancer and it had just become aggressive. She knew she was starting to go down. She became fascinated with dreams and their interpretation…. Then she drew this place she called Ruby City. Her drawing looks like a shining city on a hill or a Russian Orthodox church. For her it was a vessel, a hope…. a hope that her disappearance would have an impact.
I became fascinated by it. Red had become so important to her that I wanted to use that as a start point. From discussions we had, I looked at San Antonio and the missionaries who came to the region and the structures they built, the incredible monasteries. I also looked at pre-colonization America and Mesoamerican culture and their relationship to making architecture out of mud and raising these incredible citadels all over that part of Texas and New Mexico. The commonality for me between the monasteries and citadels is that they’re both about religion but also about death and communing with the afterlife – and they’re habitation spaces. Those ideas, mixed with her idea of the form, became an idea about architecture articulating light as a revealer of different facets of her art collection….
So the Ruby City building is about Linda, Texas and the collection.
Ruby City viewed from Chris Park
Ruby City stairway
“A Meditation on the Possibility of Romantic Love or Where You Goin’ with that Gun in Your Hand, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton Discuss the Relationships Between Expressionism and Social Reality Present in Hitler’s Paintings,” Daniel Joseph Martinez, 2007
detail of “Dreaming Red,” collage by Linda Pace
Ruby City from sculpture garden
Ruby City sculpture garden
chairs in the sculpture garden
“5,000 lbs. of Sonny’s Airplane Parts,” Nancy Rubins, 1997
“Colour Motoric Entrance,” Olafur Eliasson, 2004
“Accordion,” Christian Marclay, 1999
Ruby City viewed from Camp Street
Hong Kong orchid tree in Chris Park
detail of “Dreaming Red,” collage by Linda Pace
“Stones Against Diamonds,” video installation, Isaac Julien, 2015
“Heart of Darkness,” Cornelia Parker, 2004
“Mirror Mirror (igloo),” Linda Pace, with (background) “Your Whole Fucking Culture Alienates Me,” Andrea Bowers, 2006
Linda Pace left behind a collection of more 900 works of art in the hands of the foundation that bears her name. The immense collection will be displayed in rotating exhibitions in the new Ruby City and her former studio and Chris Park across the street. Entrance to the campus and galleries is admission-free.
For now, Ruby City addresses the back service vehicle parking lot of an inartistic branch of the United States Post Office, but that dismal view will be dramatically changed as part of Phase Two, now in the planning stages, of the San Pedro Creek Project.