Previously in the Nasher XChange series:
- Flock in Space, Nasher XChange, Entry One of Ten
- X , Nasher XChange, Entry Two of Ten
- Fountainhead , Nasher XChange, Entry Three of Ten
Moore to the point
Dallas City Hall, Dallas, Texas
Ever since I first moved to Dallas in 1982, I was fascinated by the Plaza in front of Dallas City Hall. It seemed so modern, so stark, so big city. As a public space, as the years went by, everyone realized it was not all that successful – that it was too sterile and artificial and people didn’t like hanging out there. Still, it always amazed me.
There was that sculpture too, that famous piece, The Dallas Piece, by Henry Moore.
The funny thing is… the first time I saw Dallas City Hall Plaza and the Henry Moore sculpture, it was in an obscure PBS made for TV film of an Ursula K. Le Guin novel – The Lathe of Heaven. It was shown once on the little screen before disappearing for decades (now it has arisen from the dead… it is even available on Youtube). I happened to catch it and it made a huge impression on me. Enough that there was a real thrill in visiting the Dallas locations.
Now, when she was looking at the site for the Nasher XChange, looking at The Dallas Piece, Rachel Harrison noted that the sculpture had a fence, a barricade, around it. That bothered her, a work of art like that should be exposed and available, not locked up.
I had seen the fence… when I saw it the thing had been erected for the massive crowds that throng the place for the Turkey Trot run. The rest of the time, it isn’t there.
Still, she has a point… and the point is what she built.
This was a very easy sculpture to get to. We rode over to City Hall Plaza right after hearing the lecture at the Nasher. I rode on to the Hyatt Regency then, catching the Red DART line back home.
From the Nasher Website:
New York, New York
Moore to the point
1500 Marilla St.
City Hall Plaza
A giant arrow pointing to Henry Moore’s sculpture, Three Forms Vertebrae (The Dallas Piece), calls attention not only to the work but to the conditions that frame our encounters with works of art.
For Nasher XChange, Harrison has fabricated a giant pink arrow to be installed in City Hall Plaza in downtown Dallas. The arrow points to an existing sculpture at the site, Henry Moore’s sculpture, The Dallas Piece. Harrison’s project grew out of a recent visit to Dallas City Hall during which she was surprised to see Moore’s outdoor sculpture encircled by metal barricades. For Harrison, the barricades recalled the metal stanchions now commonly found surrounding sculptures in museums, a feature Harrison has sometimes referred to in her own work.
Although the barricades have been removed, most visitors still walk around the sculpture, rather than moving through it as Moore had intended. Harrison’s giant arrow calls attention not only to Moore’s often-overlooked piece but to the conditions that frame our encounters with works of art.