Sunday, August 28, 2011

Havel and Ruck Out Do Chamberlain

When I was in New York a week ago, I spent a couple of underwhelming hours at MOMA. Very little was exciting, but I guess it might be hard to top the Matisse exhibition I saw there a summer ago. What I did see was an unassuming John Chamberlain sculpture in the middle of one of the galleries. And I thought to myself. "It's nice." I used to think Chamberlain was quite wonderful and yes, some of his work on display in Marfa IS marvelous, but this MOMA piece was simply 'nice'.
I thought about and compared this John Chamberlain piece to Dean Ruck and Dan Havel's 'Torrent' at the new Houston Permitting Center. An entire wall is overloaded with recycled, repurposed metals with enough energy to power a high wind. Funky beautiful details are strewn with abandon or calculation all over the place.I am not doing Dean and Dan's work justice with these photos. ' Suffice it to say that Torrent' should be on everyone's fall schedule for 'looking at art'. And just so you know, I heard someone say that the piece is 'John Chamberlain on steroids.' That is not an inaccurate statement. P.S. We spent time adjusting lights for this wall, but to little avail as you'll see if you visit any time soon. However, better lighting is coming and then the work should then begin to dance and wink as well as hold that wall. Get thee to 1002 Washington Avenue and take a look.