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Review: Private Universes at the Dallas Museum of Art

Private Universes
Dallas Museum of Art | May 24 – August 30, 2009

Wow! Now this is an art exhibit. Private Universes at the Dallas Museum of Art is a stunning show of conceptual, post-modern and contemporary art. The nearly 80 works include new acquisitions, promised gifts and important loans from prominent Dallas collectors and the DMA’s collection. Private Universes opens today and runs through August 30, 2009.

Jim Hodges discussing and still this, 2005-08

Jim Hodges discussing and still this, 2005-08

Private Universes was assembled by internationally renowned curator, María de Corral, The Hoffman Family Adjunct Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the DMA. Ms. de Corral eloquently explains the show saying, “Every collection is a private universe to the collector.”

Private Universes is an exhibit to be experienced and appreciated. Some works are disturbing, some warm, some colorful and some fun. Media include rolled copper, glass, photographs, pin-wheels, canvas, wood, fabric, chairs and making its debut, yarn. Works range in size from small to extra large.

Exhibit highlights include Mark Bradford’s mixed-media collage A Truly Rich Man Is One Whose Children Run Into His Arms When His Hands are Empty (2008) and Fred Sandback’s yarn installation Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculpture Study, Twenty-Two Part Vertical Construction) (1991-2006).

There are other art gems like Yayoi Kusama’s (b. 1929) Accumulation (1962-64) and Philip Guston’s (1913-1980) Pink Summer (1975). And don’t miss the Peter Fischi and David Weiss 16mm film (transferred to video) titled The Way Things Go (1987) and Jim Hodges’s gold leaf painting and still this (2005-08).

Mr. Hodges, on hand for the preview, described his process as starting near the middle and working his way out. Mr. Hodges said, “[The gold leaf] has muscle.” Muscle is a little hard to imagine for such a delicate medium, but after three years Mr. Hodges should know.

True art aficionados will need a couple of hours and possibly a second visit to soak in all the works. Dallas Art News highly recommends seeing Private Universes at the DMA. And while you are there, check out Willie Doherty: Requisite Distance in the same gallery.

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About M. C. Roman

M. C. Roman, owner and managing editor of Dallas Art News, is a painter, printmaker and photographer. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. M. C.'s art can be viewed at Social media friends can find M. C. on Facebook at

One response to “Review: Private Universes at the Dallas Museum of Art”

  1. Mr. Holga says:

    I really enjoyed this exhibit and can’t wait to see it again. This is some really cool, cutting edge modern art. Not your grandfather’s Picasso, but something much different. Really awesome.