Monday, February 6, 2012

Byzantium, Picasso and Magritte

Having set aside a quick hour on a recent Wednesday, I decided to take advantage of a world-class collection only two miles from the house. The Menil Collection was founded by immigrants who left France for Houston during WW II. The de Menils collected everything from prehistoric artifacts to modern day masterpieces.

What I love, apart from the fact that this museum is free, is that you can enjoy the amazing architecture of the space as the perfect background for priceless works. Where else can you park at no cost, wander in, and get up close and personal with works from Picasso and Magritte? I saw Le chant des sirenes, for example. Tres cool.

The bonus was checking out the special exhibit, 'Imprinting the Divine' - a collection of 13th to 18th century Byzantine iconic paintings. As an artist, I'm fascinated by the discipline of art from that time, and how the artists at that time didn't quite grasp perspective or vanishing points. But that doesn't matter - these pieces were pretty amazing and told many stories. 

If you're in Houston and can sneak away just for an hour, it's worth checking out the Menil - especially if you haven't seen it in a while. Don't wait too long - the Byzantine exhibit runs through March 18.

On the grounds of the Menil, near a popular picnic spot

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