If visual arts were songs, the "Nice. Luc Tuymans" exhibition at The Menil Collection could be considered a series of duets. The Belgian artist handpicked some 30 of his paintings to hang in tandem with works from the Menil's permanent collection. Using mostly photographs and film stills as sources for his edgy explorations, Tuymans comments on the Holocaust, the 9/11 attacks and other provocative social and political themes. One pairing includes images of an elderly man and woman Tuymans painted from photographs on funeral cards he found on the street, matched with mummy portraits from Egypt. Menil Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Toby Kamps calls these "haunting images of memory and memorialization." Additionally, a row of carved wood and stone heads from tribal cultures in Africa, thought to function as "spiritual interlocutors," according to Kamps, are juxtaposed with an image of a slain young girl, addressing the concept of communication with the dead. The fact that said young girl was slain by a serial killer adds even more depth to the conversation.
1515 Sul Ross
Houston, TX 77006
Category: Art Galleries
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Through January 5. 1515 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit menil.org. Free.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 27. Continues through Jan. 5, 2013