Saturday, January 23, 2010

I See the Venets At Hermann Park in Houston, for Bob’s Sake.

You may already have heard. I drove to Hermann Park today, not a short trip from Spring Branch but not too far either. I wanted to see the new Venets for Bob’s sake – as well as my own. Every Saturday morning, I call Bob Fusillo in Atlanta. Find out how he’s feeling. What new art has been purchased (a recently acquired Anthony Greene painting is waiting to be uncrated). Etc. But all I’d kept in my head this AM was…big steel sculptures at Hermann Park. By some French guy. I left last week’s Houston Chronicle at home. I also wondered if they’d be easy to spot.

No fear – there are four just up at the north entrance. Fortunately, as I was looking at this one (photographer Nash Baker did the pix for the newspaper), a couple came up with a cheat-sheet from the Museum in hand. Bernar Venet. That’s when I dialed up Bob and casually mentioned, “Yes, yes, I’m at the park looking at the Venets.”

The Chron’s art critic, Douglas Britt, covered the exhibition by art biggie Venet: “Despite Venet’s international stature — with outdoor sculpture exhibitions in 20 cities worldwide — he has never had a major show in Houston.” Now there is one. The outdoor exhibit consists of 15 monumental sculptures in eight locations throughout Hermann Park. The sculptures are made of cor-ten steel – some are as tall as 30 feet – there’s a lot of multiple arcs.

According to Hippocrates, life is short but art is long (or somesuch). The Venets will be here for about nine months, which is long enough, especially if one gets purchased for the city and left in situ. It was good to get out and see the new art early on…for Bob’s sake.

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