When creating AT&T Stadium, the Jones Family strived from the beginning to create more than a home for the Dallas Cowboys; their dream was to create the next great architectural icon—a place that would appeal not only to fans of sports and entertainment, but also those of architecture, art, design, engineering and technology. To do this, the family traveled the world to experience first-hand many of the finest architectural achievements known to man. These great works of historic design and construction inspired them to think beyond the expected bonds of stadium design.
Structural, practical and artistic elements of these landmarks have been transformed into the heart and soul of AT&T Stadium. Along the way, some of the finest engineers, designers and builders have taken ground-breaking strides with their work to create the next great global icon in this class.
AT&T Stadium is the culmination of visionary leadership, historical precedent and contemporary innovation that will forever change the way the world experiences sports and entertainment.
AT&T Stadium began as a dream: to change the way fans watch football games by making every aspect of the experience more thrilling, gracious, and awe-inspiring than ever before. The Jones family did not mess with the game itself: what takes place on the field is still the focus of any given Sunday. The goal was to transform everything around it, creating a streamlined structure that has become an instant architectural landmark.Click Here to Download the ART+ARCHITECTURE AT AT&T STADIUM PDF
Coming Home and (Meet Me) At the Waterfall (2009)
Acrylic on wall
Located in SW Monumental Staircase
Franz Ackermann began his artistic career by making "Mental Maps." No bigger than postcards, these colored-pencil drawings captured his memories of walks around Hong Kong. The German artist had moved there when he finished graduate school because he wanted to get the feel for an unfamiliar city without the benefit of knowing its language. Ultimately, his goal was to convey the rhythm of his trips around town abstractly, by means of color, line, and shape.
Since then, Ackermann has picked up the pace of his travels and increased the size of his works. His two gigantic murals, Coming Home and (Meet Me) At the Waterfall (both 2009) started off as recollections of his journey from his hometown, Berlin, to the North Texas area, where he did even more sightseeing. Ackermann then made many drawings, watercolors, and paintings, all based on what he had seen. To translate these studies to the walls of the stadium he used projectors and a crew of eight assistants, all artists in their own right.
His pair of wrap-around landscapes lets viewers experience the excitement of travel through the past and the present. Texas Stadium appears in the distance, a fond memory amid pulsating shapes and jazzy color-combinations. To take in the magnificent murals is to take a trip, in the imagination, to a place never before visited. That's what German painters Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc did at the beginning of the 20th century. Ackermann updates their Expressionist abstractions, turning art into an urban adventure.
Neon lit lightbox
45 inches by 119 inches by 10 inches
Edition of 4
Located in 365 Elevator Lobby, South Wall
Everyone knows the saying, "A picture speaks a thousand words." But what about words that are also pictures? Do they say more? Less? Something different? These are some of the questions Doug Aitken's star (2008) invites viewers to ponder.
From across the hall, it is easy to read Aitken's ten-foot-long word. But "star" refers to many things, from the heavenly bodies twinkling in the night sky to actors and athletes, who shine for different reasons. "Star" is a noun and a verb, a word that describes people and what they do when they become the focus of our attention.
From up close, language fades into the background as viewers get lost in the details of the picture that creates the word. The Los Angeles artist and filmmaker has photographed a city at night and digitally enhanced its shining streetlights so that they call to mind the stars overhead. The dazzling image on his neon light-box lets us imagine that we are looking down at the Earth's surface from above while simultaneously staring up at the heavens. The illusion is even more wondrous because Aitken has created it with a picture of an otherwise unremarkable location - not a famous city with a signature skyline but just an everyday place that could be anywhere.
His fusion of words and pictures builds on art made of language by such influential precedents as Lawrence Weiner, Mel Bochner, and Ed Ruscha. Bringing fantasy into the picture, Aitken melds illusion and reality into an experience of thrilling stillness.
new horizon (2008)
LED lit lightbox
66 x 70 x 8.25 inches
Located outside of Owner's club, west entrance
Doug Aitken, new horizon (Outside of Owner's club, west entrance)
Doug Aitken's works grab the eye in a split second. Just as quickly, they invite second looks. Then the game is on: what had seemed obvious becomes complex and open to interpretation.
From far away, Aitken's new horizon (2009) resembles the shiny blue star on the Cowboys' helmet. The oval glow at its center recalls the glare of bright lights on a glossy curved surface. From up close, however, it is apparent that Aitken's nearly six-foot-tall star is actually a laser-sharp photograph of a city's coastline, shot at night from a plane or helicopter. The Los Angeles artist and filmmaker has mounted his photographic transparency on to an LED light-box. This causes the lights depicted in the image to do what they actually do in the real world: illuminate their surroundings. The picture comes alive as it eliminates the difference between doing and showing, function and form.
Aitken has also used a computer to digitally manipulate the image, making its left and right halves into mirror images of each other. Like a high-tech Rorschach ink blot, the perfectly symmetrical image emphasizes the artifice at the heart of Aitken's photographs and films. Many of his movies unfold slowly, some across several screens, not telling stories so much as evoking moods and creating atmospheres. Like them, new horizon never lets viewers forget that we are looking at a still image, as it draws us into a drama both serene and strange, at once commonplace and extraordinary.
Interior Landscape, Full Spectrum (2009)
Acrylic on aluminum panels
Approximately 21 feet by 131 feet
Located in Main Concourse, SW Concessions
Ricci Albenda's Interior Landscape, Full Spectrum (2009) takes visitors in two directions: back in time to pre-Renaissance Europe, where painting and architecture were intimately related, and into the future, where painting and architecture are again integrated, but this time in the virtual world of digital information. Albenda's visually tricky installation plays up the confusion between two-dimensional illusions and three-dimensional space to make visitors aware of our surroundings and alert us to art's power to change them.
The New York artist begins with the architecture on which his 130-foot-long painting - or series of oddly shaped paintings - rests: the gently curved wall that wraps around the field and follows the graceful oval shape of the stadium. Albenda breaks the smooth continuity of the wall into a fractured funhouse of color, affixing nearly two dozen aluminum panels to it. Each panel has four sides but none is square, or even rectangular. No two are the same shape, nor does a right angle appear to define any of their corners, which tend toward extremes. As for their colors, no two are the same. Although they cover the spectrum, Albenda has replaced the natural violet, red, and yellow of the rainbow with such tints as lavender, coral, and ochre.
Arranged side-by-side in an eccentric row, Albenda's beautifully painted panels appear to recede and protrude, as if pulsating like a peculiar, geometric heartbeat. The two-dimensional space of painting and the three-dimensional space of architecture are no longer separate. They come together to trick the eye and delight the mind.
Acrylic on Wall
38 feet 2 inches by 33 feet 3 inches
Located on Cement Block Walls Opposite NE Monumental Stairs
Mel Bochner uses words in the same way that a painter uses colors—to get viewers to see subtle differences between similar things.
Win! (2009) begins simply, with the word for what every fan wants his team to do, whether he's screaming it on Sunday or reading it in the headlines of Monday's paper. Simplicity disappears with the next word: "Vanquish" takes "win" to extremes, suggesting the overpowering of an utterly defeated foe. "Conquer" adds notions of control and possession to the rapidly growing mixture of meanings. Then "Clobber!," "Drub!," and "Rout!" evoke the exaggerated language of comic strips as they also recall the clichés often typed by sportswriters.
At this point, viewers have only made it through one-quarter of Bochner's surprisingly dense work. To read the rest, which takes less than 10 seconds, is to see the language get increasingly colorful—eventually taking on a life of its own.
Win! is the biggest work in Bochner's ongoing series of "Thesaurus Paintings." This body of work focuses on the ways language both conveys and derails meaning. Bochner has used words in his works since the late 1960s, when, as an original member of the Conceptual art movement, he became fascinated with their power and mystery.
Unlike sporting contests, which end with the black-and-white clarity of a win or a loss, Bochner's pedestrian poetry takes us into the gray areas, where shades of meaning are as important to the message as what it literally communicates.
Unexpected Variable Configurations: A Work in Situ (1998)
Wall painted yellow with hand-drawn grid and 25 screen-printed aluminum plates
Edition 10 of 15 and 11 of 15
Approximately 21 feet by 118 feet
Located in Main Concourse, SE Concession Area
Daniel Buren's bright yellow wall painting fits into its surroundings at the same time that it stands out from them. This ambiguity leads many viewers to ask: "Is it art or just part of the building?" And that is exactly what the veteran French artist wants you to ask, both of his signature stripe works and everything that has been made by mankind.
Buren's point is that it is too limiting to think of art as only a precious object that needs to be sequestered in a museum. In his radically democratic view, art is most compelling when it is unexpected, especially when it interacts with its context and alters our perceptions by getting us to think about the world we inhabit.
Buren began his distinguished career in the early 1960s. At that time, messy, abstract painting had become cliché. Buren's solution was to use ready-made pieces of striped canvas. In 1965, he selected a standard pattern: solid vertical colored stripes alternating with white stripes of the same width, 8.5 centimeters. In 1967, Buren abandoned canvas and began printing his now trademark stripes on posters, which he affixed to walls, fences, benches, and phone booths all over Paris.
Unexpected Variable Configurations: A Work in Situ (1998) is classic Buren. On an immense expanse of identical yellow squares hang 50 aluminum panels, each printed with a black-and-white or whiteand- black pattern. The positions of the panels are determined by chance. And like all of Buren's works, this one invites double takes as viewers see art—and everything around it—with fresh eyes.
Exploded View (Cowboys) (2012-2013)
Custom electronic LEDs
Located on Hall of Fame Level, Entry A
Jim Campbell uses cutting-edge technology to bring mystery into modern life. At a time when high-tech devices allow people all over the globe to see more things more clearly and quickly than ever before, the San Francisco artist takes digital imagery back to the basics. His three-dimensional arrangements of flickering lightbulbs transform two-dimensional images into ghostly apparitions that take on a life of their own. In doing so, Campbell invites us to wonder about the fleeting nature of our perceptions and how they add up to lives that pass by so quickly.
At AT&T Stadium, Campbell starts with footage of great plays from Dallas Cowboys games. Using software, he digitizes the filmed images and then maps every pixel of every frame of every sequence onto a room-size array of hanging LED lights. A specially programmed computer controls the lightbulbs, causing each to turn on and off at precisely time, intervals, sometimes shining brightly and at others glowing softly.
Depending upon where you stand, you see different things. From some places, Campbell's darkened alcove resembles the night sky, whose twinkling stars form endless constellations. From other vantage points, you see football players running, passing, and tackling. Sometimes they are easy to see, their silhouettes crisp and distinct. At others, they are blurry and ghostly, like faded photographs, early movies, low-res images and fleeting memories. No audio accompanies Campbell's black-and-white work, which shuns the razzle-dazzle of high-res imagery. The silence amplifies the mysteriousness, creating an atmosphere that is both mesmerizing and meditative.
Moving stars takes time (2008)
Stainless steel, polished stainless steel, glass mirror, color effect filter glass, color foil, powder-coated steel, steel cable
Located in Main Concourse, SW Entry
The rapid pace of modern life is often driven by the sense that we need to know what is going on in the blink of an eye.
Olafur Eliasson's Moving stars takes time (2008) goes out of its way to frustrate this desire. As a sculpture, it looks incomplete, more like a finely designed and beautifully polished model of some of the planets and moons in our solar system than a typical mobile, whose elements would counter-balance one another in a more resolved fashion. It is also different from conventional sculptures because its six components refuse to command the space they occupy with the authority common to more massive works.
None of this is accidental. Eliasson's purpose in making Moving stars takes time is to get viewers to slow down for a moment, to take a brief break from the relentless rush of modern life and to stop behaving as if it is absolutely essential that we know what something means the split-second we see it. Taking one's time is the best method for more nuanced activities, like understanding the complexities of science, comprehending the beauty of art, and savoring the ambiguity of both. Being comfortable with uncertainty is the first step in a process that takes time. It requires viewer participation and leads to thinking outside the box. Eliasson's art calls us to contemplate our place in the universe, where there is plenty of room for mystery, for wonder, and for much, much more than we can understand.
Fat super star (2008-09)
Brass, color effect filter glass, mirror, halogen light fixture
39 3/8 inches by 39 3/8 inches by39 3/8 inches
Edition 2 of 10
Located in Owner's Club
Olafur Eliasson's Fat super star (2008 - 09) is the second of two pieces the Danish artist of Icelandic heritage has installed at the stadium. Its partner, Moving stars takes time (2008) occupies the Southwest Entry of the Main Concourse and consists of six circular components that slowly spin overhead, like an elegant version of an astronomical model of the solar system. Fat super star also hangs from the ceiling, but it inhabits a much smaller, more intimate entryway, where it stars in a show all its own.
As is always the case with Eliasson's contemplative art, the show is not an extravagant drama or eyegrabbing spectacle. More like a whisper than a shout, it is a quiet reminder of the beauty of light, the magic of happenstance, and the unforgettable resonance of some of life's most fleeting experiences.
Eliasson's star, wrapped in brass bands that suggest elliptical orbits, recalls holiday decorations, religious symbols, children's toys, and the stars in the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard. It also resembles a giant jewel, with gorgeously cut facets reflecting every color of the spectrum. But rather than settling on any one of these interpretations, Fat super star evokes a more expansive, even universal, experience. It does not take a great leap of the imagination to see Eliasson's piece as a homemade rainbow. Ingeniously crafted from tinted glass, mirrors, brass, and halogen light fixtures, it casts kaleidoscopic patterns on the domed ceiling and shines soft beams of light on visitors, who then become part of the art. Eliasson's star is a focal point that disperses attention around the room, inviting everyone to be attentive to everything - and everyone-present.
Mirrored glass cubes on anodized aluminum
Approximately 14 feet 6 inches by 31 feet 8 inches
Located in Owner's Club, West OC Elevator lobby
In the 1960s, a movement called Minimalism stripped art down to the basics: simple shapes, standard materials, and viewers, who were often puzzled by its stubborn silence. Since then, Minimalism has matured, becoming more refined, less abrasive, more gracious. Teresita Fernández takes Minimalism to elegant heights, creating accessible installations that fill the seemingly empty space between things with a sensual charge that transforms otherwise incidental details into evocations of infinity.
In terms of composition and materials, Fernández's Starfield (2009) could not be simpler: bright dots of light cluster in the center of a glossy black wall. Think disco ball flattened by a steamroller. Then imagine the serene beauty of a crystal-clear night sky in the middle of nowhere, where so many stars twinkle that one cannot help but be awed by the vastness of the cosmos and our tiny place in it. Together, the two images suggest the magic Fernández works in her installation, which is made of nothing but hundreds of mirrored glass cubes (about the size of ice cubes) and sheets of black laminate that cover the wall. The most important element, however, is the space between Starfield and the viewer - and what happens in it.
In every tiny mirror, one sees a miniature reflection. Stepping back, a ghostly silhouette appears in the dark laminate. But when one keeps moving, like a star in the sky, Fernández's art comes alive, twinkling, shimmering, and reflecting all the colors of the spectrum. Like a rainbow, you cannot touch it or keep it or forget seeing it.
Cheering Crowd (2007)
Acrylic on canvas, triptych
84 inches by 252 inches
Located Outside of the Owner's Club
The biggest difference between watching a game on TV and going to the real thing is the crowd. There is simply no substitute for being there, immersed in the mass of humanity that has gathered to root for the home team.
The differences between first- and second-hand experience is the subject of Wayne Gonzales' Cheering Crowd (2007), a wall-sized canvas in shades of gray that depicts exactly what its title says. To scan it quickly is to see one big crowd, perhaps a section from a stadium like this one. But as the eye glides across the artist's three-panel painting, it picks up rhythms and settles into patterns. Soon, one notices that the seven-by-21-foot picture is actually three seven-foot-square canvases, each of which depicts the very same scene, a photo Gonzales culled from the Internet.
The repetition recalls Andy Warhol's early Pop works, which presented multiple images of tabloid news photos, often of disasters and tragedies. Gonzales brings Warhol's focus on the mechanics of the mass media into the digital age, where the crowds are bigger and the information transmitted much faster. Yet Gonzales makes his paintings slowly, by hand. To view them up close is to see the image disintegrate into an energized field of individual brushstrokes. Simultaneously intimate and anonymous, his art captures the sensation of losing one's self in a crowd only to find yourself as a part of something bigger, more powerful and profound.
Two Minds (2009)
Acrylic on wall
Approximately 21 feet by 126 feet
Located in Main Concourse, NE Concession Area
As its title, Two Minds (2009), suggests, Terry Haggerty's painting is conflicted. On one hand, it presents a system that fuses crisp visual punch with consistent, all-over evenness. On the other, it insists that the quirks provided by unexpected interruptions make art and life both interesting and unpredictable, at once puzzling and fun.
It is impossible to look at Haggerty's mural without your eyes instantly gliding along its wavy bands of color. From one end to the other, we visually travel speedily along the candy canecolored curves - as if on a rollercoaster ride. Brightly striped awnings come to mind, as do banners flapping in the wind, garments in Baroque paintings, and 1960s Op Art.
Haggerty's painting creates the illusion of three-dimensional space by suggesting that some sections recede into the distance and disappear behind other sections. The mind's eye fills in what is not visible, creating a coherent image. And this is where the London-born, Berlin-based artist throws a monkeywrench into the system.
It is physically impossible for the red and white stripes to curve up and over the "fold" or the "bump" in the upper middle part of the painting. There is simply no way for the stripes to be continuous, unbroken bands. But that is what the mind's eye wants to see and what our eyes tell us, when carried away by the painting's visual momentum. And that is exactly what Haggerty wants - a glitch in the system that allows us to be of two minds.
From a Legend to a Choir (2009)
Approximately 41 feet by 108 feet
Located on SE Ramp Wall (silver - star levels)
Trenton Doyle Hancock's dense work stops visitors in their tracks. Its screaming colors and riotous energy are an eyeful and not for the faint-hearted. But what happens when a viewer spends a few moments with Hancock's crazy quilt of an image is hardly indelicate. From a Legend to a Choir (2009) builds upon the most democratic aspects of American Pop Art, from Stuart Davis to Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat, empowering viewers by letting us bring our own stories to a wildly open-ended narrative.
Hancock's sprawling mural sets the stage. Its flower-filled setting evokes the biblical Garden of Eden and the psychedelic Summer of Love. Its figures' striped outfits recall jailhouse garb. Hancock's cast of characters is a rogue's gallery: some are headless lumps and others look more like animals than human beings, with a walrus, four-eyed rooster, and other mutants.
These creatures are part of an ongoing saga that Hancock has been telling for the past decade. He calls them "Mounds"-plant-animal hybrids that behave like all of us, sometimes admirably and sometimes badly. Hancock's homegrown mythology includes a creation story, an epic battle between good and evil, an attempt at reconciliation between color-loving carnivores and scrawny, subterranean vegans, and much more. It has its roots in his personal history. Now based in Houston, Hancock was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Paris, Texas. He is the stepson of a preacher. His roots nourish an inventive imagination out of which springs a world so rich with possibility that viewers cannot help but be drawn into it.
For Cowboys (2012)
Electronic LED sign
AT&T Stadium Video Board
Long before instant text messaging became a popular way to communicate, Jenny Holzer began streaming familiar phrases and common statements over a large electronic billboard at Times Square in New York. In 1982, her words made people pause, not because they conveyed strange sentiments or made unsettling propositions, but because Holzer's messages were not what people were used to seeing in public spaces: attention-grabbing advertisements and other cleverly engineered attempts to sway people's opinions, to influence our thinking, and to shape our behavior.
Instead, Holzer's "Truisms," taken from a series of posters she wheat-pasted to buildings around Manhattan from 1977-79, spoke the language of common sense, spelling out such messages as "THE SUM OF YOUR ACTIONS DETERMINES WHAT YOU ARE," "IT CAN BE HELPFUL TO KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT," and "A POSITIVE ATTITUDE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD."
The beauty of Holzer's anonymous statements is that they drift free of the purposefulness of most public pronouncements. Rather than telling us what to think, or providing immediately useful information, they make us wonder about their source, whose interests they serve, and who they speak for. At AT&T Stadium, the monumental video board and its cutting-edge technology allow Holzer's intermittently repeated texts to build on the populist impulses of Lawrence Weiner's and Mel Bochner's stenciled and printed word-works, which are also on display in the stadium. Taking Conceptual art into the digital age, Holzer uses words to heighten awareness of our surroundings by making them more meaningful.
Oil and enamel on linen
90 inches by 96 inches
Located in Owner's Club
Jacqueline Humphries' Blondnoir (2008) appears to be two or three paintings collapsed into the same space. Think high-speed collision. Or a digital transmission on the fritz. The New York artist's fractured, silver-hued abstraction gives stunning shape to the compression of time and space that makes modern life both thrilling and anxiety-riddled.
In the nineteenth century, philosophers felt that the Sublime delivered such double-edged experiences. Humphries, influenced by her predecessors in the New York painting school, brings them down to earth. The metallic silver paint she mixes herself is highly reflective. Its glare can be blinding. So to see her work without squinting, one must look at it from various angles, from across the room and up close. Taking it in from different perspectives allows the viewer to appreciate its splintered, stop-and-start composition. Its title, made up of two adjectives Humphries has joined, evokes light and darkness, beauty and menace. And like a movie from the glory days of film noir, her painting requires that viewers do a little detective work, piecing together the evidence to see the light amid the shadows.
To this end, Humphries hides nothing. A close look reveals that Blondnoir was painted in layers. Each layer dried before the next was applied. And between layers, Humphries covered parts of her painting with strips of masking tape, sometimes sticking it on in parallel bands and at other times with less regularity. The process painting, taping, tearing off the tape (and doing it over and over again) has created a charged surface of interrupted brushstrokes and fragmented shapes that recalls cut-andpaste collage and roughly-spliced films. The drama and the suspense are there for any viewer who is not afraid to play detective.
Vacuum-formed styrene wall
40 feet by 96 feet
Located on Northwest Ramp Wall
Jim Isermann's gigantic wall relief has been conceived and fabricated with the individual in mind. Its basic unit is a sevenfoot- square module. This building block is slightly larger than an adult, familiar proportions that do not stretch the imagination, overwhelm the senses, or test the limits of comprehension.
That is what Isermann does when he lays out his human-scale building blocks, arranging 65 of them by turning every other one in the opposite direction of its neighbors. This simple gesture creates a complex pattern that transforms a 4,000-square-foot wall into an astonishingly beautiful abstraction that is a marvel of engineering and a pleasure to behold.
For the logically minded, Isermann's work is an abstract jigsaw puzzle to be taken apart and reassembled in the mind's-eye. To study any of its seven-foot sections is to see that each consists of 36 smaller panels that come in 11 different designs, making for nearly 2500 separate parts. For the intuitively inclined, it is not difficult to understand His goals by stepping back and taking in an overall view. He makes basic shapes add up to wholly unexpected experiences that defy explanation as they fuse art, design, and architecture.
Isermann was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and now lives in Palm Springs, California. For the last 30 years, he has been at the forefront of a movement to combine the logic of industrial production with the freedom of art - to unite the clarity of rationality with the thrill of something more. From wherever one stands, Isermann's magnificently user-friendly installation embodies the excitement of being part of something bigger and more profound than usual.
(Image shown is a rendering prior to installation)
Sky Mirror (2006)
Polished stainless steel
35 feet diameter
Located in East Plaza
The ancient Greeks believed that one of the functions of art was to hold a mirror up to nature. The beauty of their plays and paintings rivaled that of the natural landscape and reflected the perfection of the visible world. In the Renaissance, the duties of art shifted: One of its roles was to hold a mirror up to society, reflecting the complexities of human behavior to help audiences understand themselves in ways that might make the world a better place. Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror (2006) combines both of these goals, giving contemporary visitors to AT&T Stadium ever-changing views of the sky above and the ground below while inviting us to reflect on what it means to live in a global world.
Both down-to-earth and out-of-this-world, Kapoor's stainless steel sculpture is a high-tech monolith and a low-tech monitor. Sky Mirror weighs fifteen tons, stands three stories tall and measures more than thirty-five feet across its concave face. The highly polished disk takes visitors' minds to Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids, and Mayan temples, as well as other structures prehistoric peoples constructed to mark the seasons. At the same time, Kapoor's Minimalist sculpture functions as a huge, two-sided screen—or solar-powered monitor—on which visitors regard an endless, never-to-be-repeated drama. From one side, clouds, planes, birds and stars pass by in the sky, which itself changes from night to day. From the other side, individuals come together, in clusters and crowds, and disperse, moving on but never forgetting our connections to our surroundings and everything in them.
White Form (2012)
80 x 71 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches - Edition 1 of 2
Entry A on the Hall of Fame Level.
Playfulness, pragmatism and perfection come together in Ellsworth Kelly’s “White Form” (2012). A modest piece of perfection, this refreshingly simple abstraction combines the honest, no-nonsense pragmatism of everyday life with the open-ended possibilities of play, whether that puts you in mind of a kid’s cartoony doodle or a whip-smart improvisation made by a master at the top of his game. “White Form” is both. And more. It was acquired for the collection at the 2x2 auction benefitting amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
As a work of art, Kelly’s monochrome abstraction couldn’t be much simpler: one color, one texture and flatter than a pancake, its edges are defined by two lines—a short, straight vertical one smack dab in its center and a long curved one whose ends link up with the ends of the little one. Together, the two lines form the border of a shape that resembles the letter “C,” especially if you imagine that that letter were a fully inflated balloon.
The flat face of Kelly’s “White Form”—an approximately 7-by-6-foot expanse of perfectly smooth aluminum that is 4-¼ inches deep—conflicts with the big gentle curve of its silhouette. This creates subtle tension between the work’s actual dimensions and its suggestion of even greater volume.
It’s impossible to say whether “White Form” is a shaped painting or a wall-mounted sculpture. The words we usually use to describe things fail to capture the complexity of Kelly’s elusive work. Equally important, the purposefulness of pragmatism and the purposelessness of play begin to seem as if they may not be opposites. Instead, they form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. With great efficiency, no pyrotechnics and even less fanfare, Kelly’s wonderfully understated piece of pristine whiteness short-circuits expectations and derails language as it rewards viewers for paying attention to otherwise incidental details. Perfection never looked better. Nor more accessible.
Coin Toss (2009)
14 feet diameter by approximately 45 feet (span)
Located in Main Concourse, SE Entry
Just about every sculpture that has ever been made has had to struggle against gravity—to fight against its downward tug, to rise up off the ground, and to stand tall, with the authority of a monument. Mobiles are different because they hang from the ceiling. But their affect also depends upon a balance with gravity being struck, so that they seem to float in midair.
Annette Lawrence's graceful sculpture stands apart from this history for one simple reason: gravity does not matter to it. As an original work of art, it has as much to do with the nearly immaterial installations of California's Light-and-Space movement as it does with the geometric sculptures of such New York Minimalists as Donald Judd and Fred Sandback. Lawrence's tautly stretched steel cables inhabit an architectural interior, enhancing the grand entrance by giving elegant form to the passage of time and the movement of bodies through space.
The North Texas artist's hourglass-shaped sculpture comes alive when one walks under it. That is when the gentle curves of its profile shift, causing the open volume it wraps around to appear to contract and expand. Dazzling reflections dance off its shiny silver cables. The faster one walks, the faster they spiral through space. This movement is suggested by the work's title: Coin Toss (2009) calls to mind the start of each game, when a coin spins through space in a manner very similar to that described by Lawrence's streamlined sculpture, which commands a lot more space than it actually occupies.
Solar Arrangement (2009)
Acrylic on wall
Approximately 21 feet by 131 feet
Located in Main Concourse, NW Concession Area
Like many school kids all over the country, Dave Muller's first visit to a football field had nothing to do with sports. His science teacher took his class to the local stadium to demonstrate just how big the solar system is. Using a ping-pong ball for the sun, which was placed on one goal line, they needed the entire field, as well as the stands beyond the opposite end zone, to make their accurately scaled model.
Solar Arrangement (2009) plays off of Muller's memory of that experience. In his expansive mural, the sun is represented by a gorgeous yellow rose. The first three planets, Mercury, Venus, and Earth, are represented by a ball of dry leaves, a ball of crunchy popcorn, and a ball of lush clover. Dashed lines trace small sections of their orbits. Several stars, which resemble snowflakes, twinkle in the background. Muller invites us to ponder our place in the cosmos—to picture the huge crowd gathered here as a tiny speck beneath the heavens. The experience is humbling and eye-opening, both personal and universal.
The hand-drawn, hand-painted richness of Muller's image makes it intimate and endearing, far warmer and more enchanting than standard diagrams. And like much of Muller's art, Solar Arrangement has a musical component. Muller is a Los Angeles artist who is also a trumpet player, DJ, and record collector. His sun evokes "The Yellow Rose of Texas," a legendary song that has been covered again and again and never the same way twice.
Line of Play (2009)
Powder coated aluminum, vinyl and acrylic
Approximately 30 feet 6 inches by 20 feet 5 inches
Located in Main Concourse, NW Entry
Made of powder-coated aluminum, vinyl, and acrylic paint, Matthew Ritchie's Line of Play (2009) transforms the age-old medium of drawing. The work becomes a metaphor for the many ways people make sense of just about everything, from our surroundings to life's purpose to whatever might lie beyond. In Ritchie's hands, art is an ongoing experiment—an ever-expanding inquiry we puzzle over as we discover new ideas, change our minds about old ones, and come up with more questions.
It all starts with the marks coaches make when they diagram plays. Ritchie transfers the X's and O's they draw on chalkboards to a computer, where he turns them into swirling force fields of animated energy. The London-born, New York-based artist describes Line of Play as two figures passing something between them. It does not take a great leap to see what he means, even if it is impossible to identify those figures and that object. That is the point. Ritchie's futuristic triptych does not depict things we already know, so much as it gives us a glimpse of things we have never seen.
Ritchie emerged as an artist in the 1990s, when the Information Age entered into its digital phase and the Internet made more information accessible to more people than ever before. His works are all based on the possibilities presented by technology's capacity to bring together advanced systems of inquiry. Ritchie often collaborates with neurologists, physicists, philosophers, historians, and game theorists, in order to push knowledge, consciousness, and beliefs beyond their existing limits.
powder coated aluminium
69.9 inches by 110 inches by 7.5 inches
Located on Hall of Fame Level, Entry A
In the 1960s, artists on the West Coast made sculptures whose shimmering finishes were as sleek as custom-painted hotrods. Sculptors on the East Coast stuck to less flashy finishes, preferring subdued colors, industrial ruggedness, and simple geometry – often repeated to form the rows, stacks and columns of their serial works. Today, Dublin-born and London-based Eva Rothschild combines characteristics of both types of Minimalism. At once seductive and structurally rigorous, her works are as pleasurable to perceive as they are satisfying to contemplate.
From across the room, Diamonoid (2009) appears to be a basic black diamond. But as soon as a viewer moves in any direction, the illusion of stillness, flatness and smooth uniformity disintegrates. Reflections and shadows dance across the mirror-like surface of the specially treated plastic that forms the diamond-shaped backdrop of Rothschild's wall relief. Similar reflections race along the numerous aluminum bars that echo the shape of the nearly 10-foot-long monochrome.
The best visual effects, however, take place between the powder-coated bars and the industrial-strength plexiglass, where Rothschild makes it difficult for viewers to distinguish between the shifting geometry of the eccentrically angled bars and their crisp reflections in the ink-black plastic. The impression is that of peering into a deep, dark well, where light does not penetrate and tangible reality seems to open into the void. With understated efficiency, Rothschild suggests that this is where the magic—and the mystery—of art begin.
Crystalline Structure #2 (2013)
glass beads and stainless steel wire
108 inches by 120 inches by 120 inches
Site specific commission
The space between things is as important to Alyson Shotz's multipart sculpture as are the materials that make up its many components. That simple shift, from a single thing standing in space to an endless array of elements suspended in midair, distinguishes Shotz's three-dimensional piece from traditional sculptures. More important, it signals her art's engagement with the world in which we now live: a global network where everything is connected to everything else and instantaneous communication seems to have diminished the distance that once separated far-away places.
What's most remarkable about Shotz's spectacular sculpture is that it makes a place, amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, for quiet contemplation. To see her site-specific sculpture is to be immediately dazzled by its beauty. That, alone, is significant, and worth a visit. But for Shotz, it's only the beginning.
Rather than making a powerful object that stops viewers in our tracks and invites us to marvel at its magnificence, she draws us into her work's orbit by making us want to see it from as many angles as possible. That's when we discover that the material she has sculpted is light—and that the way light moves through her precisely arranged piece is what matters. In a sense, Shotz has composed a silent symphony of reflected and refracted light, its lively luminosity guiding our eyes along lines through space, where various patterns shimmer and sparkle and then disperse, depending upon our position and point of view. It's a simple sort of interactivity that could not be more low-tech or profound.
Blue Field Explosions (2009)
Urethane, pigment and oil stick on wall
Approximately 22 feet by 70 feet
Located in NE Monumental Staircase
On any given Sunday, everything can change in a split-second. That is why big plays, explosive hits, even questionable calls are so important to sports: with them, momentum shifts, games turn, and winners rise above losers.
Gary Simmons' gigantic wall drawing captures the energy of these decisive moments. Rather than depicting a specific event and limiting his art to illustrating the past, Simmons brings the sudden, ear-splitting, earth-shattering, outcome-altering explosiveness of game highlights into the present, where viewers are called on to fill in the blanks by using their imaginations. Part of the power of Blue Field Explosions(2009) is that it reawakens our capacity to anticipate, to dream, and to hope.
Simmons emerged as an artist in the early 1990s with his "Erasure Drawings," a series of chalk drawings on blackboards. An African-American, he began many of these works by accurately outlining 1930s cartoon characters that often embodied racial stereotypes. Simmons then used his bare hands, arms, and shoulders to smudge, smear, and all but erase the white-onblack images. What resulted were ghostly, gray traces of the original characters and the artist's unsuccessful yet vigorous, even violent attempt to obliterate them.
This double-edged thrust continues in the double-barreled format of Blue Field Explosions. All of Simmons' handmade drawings are accessible and potent. They build on the comic strip-inspired Pop Art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein by making a place for the artist's touch in a world of mass-produced imagery. For Simmons, that is both subtle and tough, elegant and explosive.
Freischwimmer 155 (2010)
101.57 inches by 181.89 inches
Located on Hall of Fame Level, Southeast Elevator Lobby
Wolfgang Tillmans' Freischwimmer 155 (2010) is a super-realistic depiction of a small volume of printer's ink dissolving in a bath of deep green liquid. As an image, it takes viewers back to a time before the world went digital, when photographers printed pictures the old-fashioned way—with light-sensitive film, paper, and specially mixed chemicals. That's how Tillmans made this camera-less photograph. Going straight to the darkroom, he submerged a page-size sheet of paper in a carefully mixed solution, dripped in a modest amount of ink, and then, very gently, stirred the mixture. In a sense, he was drawing with liquid. The photographic paper recorded those fleeting, impossible-to-repeat moments.
Then Tillmans digitally scanned his handmade photograph and used an industrial-strength inkjet printer to transform it into a wall-size work. Measuring more than eight by fifteen feet, his beautifully composed print is an immersive environment that is easy to get lost in. Freischwimmer 155 (in English, Free Float) is also a super-saturated abstraction that takes us back to the glory days of abstract painting, when bold gestures and improvised brush-strokes conveyed a sense of infinite possibility. The romance of painting lives on in Tillmans' high-res image, which brings the past into the present by making room for ambiguity and, even better, real mystery.
BROUGHT UP TO SPEED (2009)
Vinyl decals on wall
Dimensions variable (installed along wall
approx. 38 feet 2 inches by 33 feet 3 inches)
Located Opposite SW Monumental Stairs
Anyone who knows how to read street signs will be able to understand Lawrence Weiner's BROUGHT UP TO SPEED (2009). No insider information is necessary to get what matters from this mural-size wallwork: the ideas it generates, the feelings that accompany them, and the conversations that follow.
Weiner was one of the founding fathers of Conceptual art. This internationally renowned movement began with the belief that objects of art are less important than the impressions they make on viewers, who are free to take these impressions with them - and free to take them as far as they desire. Such populist commitments have been essential to Weiner's art since 1968, when he quit making paintings and began using stencils to write brief statements directly on the wall.
Here, Weiner's piece features phrases people use every day: "brought up to speed," "brought down to earth," and "catch as catch can." They call to mind highlights of past games that are still vivid memories: say, a rookie learning on the job; the thump of a bone-crunching tackle; and a speedy receiver making an acrobatic catch.
Weiner's words also invite visitors to anticipate moments that have not yet happened on the field - to look forward to more excitement in the future. That is the beauty of language. If it captures your imagination, it can be used over and over again, by thousands and thousands of people, without wearing out or losing its punch.
TV Keith (2008)
Acrylic and gouache on canvas
93 inches by 83 inches
Located on Hall of Fame Level, Owners Club
Garth Weiser strips painting down to the basics. TV Keith (2008) is a large abstract canvas from which color has been almost entirely eliminated. The same goes for the free-form gestures that ordinarily provide evidence of the artist's touch and typically give abstract art its hand-made originality. In the young New York-based painter's no-nonsense canvas, the shapes are common, the lines are precise, and the composition is rudimentary, a nearly symmetrical division of top and bottom, left and right, circles and rectangles.
Despite the reductive format, Weiser's work is anything but limited. This deceptively simple image is equally engaged with the materials and techniques of its construction, the world around it, and the history of Minimalist abstraction. It makes room for fascinating reflections about painting's capacity to multitask, to be not only many things to many people, but to be many things to individual viewers, all at once.
To apply paint, Weiser uses brushes, palette knives, and spray guns. Some parts of his image are atmospheric, others are flat expanses, and still others appear to be three-dimensional, jutting forward like a steely cone, or overlapping like a target's concentric rings. The line that divides the airy top of the painting from its rock-solid bottom recalls the horizon of wide-open spaces and evokes the landscape of Montana, where Weiser was born. The stylized simplicity of corporate logos and the crisp efficiency of graphic design play important roles in Weiser's multilayered work, which also recalls the test patterns and static that often appeared on TV screens in the days before the world went digital.