Tuesday, March 1

My Recent Visit to the McNay

View of the McNay Art Museum
Photo by Byrne Smith Copyright 2016
I recently visited an exhibition at the McNay Art Museum (the McNay) in San Antonio. Titled Made in Germany: Contemporary Art from the Rubell Family Collection, it's numerous pieces culled from the collection of the Rubells of Miami, FL.

An informative (and free) pamphlet, given to each visitor, tells you, "Made in Germany unites works by German artists from 1980 to 2014." It provides, in a nutshell, the dramatic political changes that took place before and during this period and several factors that helped shape artists and artwork, such as the Leipzig  school of painting and general attitudes of the East vs. West.

The artwork of 54 (or so) artists can't be described as anything other than contemporary. This includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, textiles, collages, and photographic prints.

For example, there is a large (60 x 48 in/152 x 122 cm) collage by Georg Herold composed of beluga caviar, shellac, asphaltum, and acrylic on canvas. Interesting, and as I said, contemporary. But all are thought-provoking, reflective, and/or attention-getting, if not beautiful.

I think it would be interesting to meet the Rubells and discover how they made their art selections. You can, in a way, because there are three huge headshots (82 x 63 in/208 x 160 cm) on chromogenic prints from 1989, one each of  Mr. Rubell, Mrs. Rubell, and their son Jason Rubell.

I had never been to the McNay, which is located in a leafy setting near Alamo Heights. I was taken not only with the gravitas of this exhibition but also with the rest of the substantive collection, both permanent and currently showing. I especially liked their prominent Edward Hopper: Corn Hill (Truro, Cape Cod), 1930.

If you're in this part of the world, I hope you can visit the McNay and this exhibition, which runs through April 24, 2016.

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