One museum – two must-see shows

The Nasher Sculpture Center scored again this weekend with the opening of a new work the museum commissioned by 30-year old Syrian-born artist, Diana Al-Hadid. Much of her work and this site-specific piece, “Gradiva’s Fourth Wall,” evoke the atmosphere of ancient archeological digs which was the same theme that inspired Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano, when he was hired to design the Nasher building and site.

Last month, I also attended the opening of “Tony Cragg: Seeing Things.” This was the first USA retrospective in 20 years of Tony Cragg, a 62-year old British artist. Cragg’s body of work fully inhabits the Nasher space, greeting you on the Flora Street front sidewalk and then extending its welcome into the back gardens. Both are shows by well-respected contemporary artists whose interests are multidisciplinary with thought processes that intersect sciences, physics, philosophies, literature and anything that captures their interest.

What is the effect on my creativity? I have observed that over the past 4 years that I’ve been involved with the Nasher, as a volunteer, fan and advocate, that my own paintings have become more textural and 3-dimensional – a totally subconscious direction. There was no conscious plan to shift my materials and style. It is simply happening, and it is a direction I like.