Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I never know what I'll think of, at the Kimbell

I know you know of such a place, where part of why
you love to be there is that you will be surprised 
to be invigorated, and not - as in other places one 
loves, possibly more, gratified and restored or cen-
ground, perceptibly, not tipping me into chaos but
elevating me in a way Antaeus hadn't known, to be
freer and more critically adroit.

Because of surgeries so recent that I could not be
more acutely sensitive to the reciprocities of pres-
sure that are articulated in standing, I'm aware of
the difference between weightlessness - not an il-
lusion at the Kimbell - and of weight, equalised in
space by sensory compensations in seeing, and pos-
sibly in listening. The canvas on the wall and I re-
gard each other without being hefted; we have mass,
but it is imponderous.

I know that what has bestowed this impression upon
truly the benignest courtesy to my pleasure. I sup-
pose I have made it clear that I am of a cast of
mind to cherish such thoughtfulness, as a gesture
of shared respect, yet so self-effacing that I am
not, unless I should blog of it, conscious of being

This is how we want to see the art of others, with-
out that grandiloquent mediation. In this simplified
entry, I wish to exercise a test, drawing on a widely
enough remembered image not to post it at all, and to
engage with others in my only skill, lighted as ever
with erotic signals of caring. This is how Laurent
may indulge the effrontery of demanding someone's at-
tention in the first place. Leaf through his entries;
the pictures are a flux, seldom a literal illustration,
inspired by a hypothetical constituency, to be contem-
porary with a real one.

An exception, today, is that I am inspired by the
departure of a fine young medical researcher at our
university, a friend who is off to take his degree
in medicine in the shade of one of Louis Kahn's more
famous projects, the Richards Medical Center at the
University of Pennsylvania - here, Kahn taught archit-
ecture to friends of mine, from my eating club. It
could not be more fitting, that so many of Kahn's
projects are devoted to the development of youth, 
and remain - as in the library at Exeter, and his
last, the gallery at Yale - in unending and concen-
trated extraction of their genius.

For this entry, I invite the freest comment, but it
would especially favour the experiment if anyone were
lection, and commence a discussion of it right here.
My interest is to experience promise and to celebrate
it, not to measure its outcome. The Kimbell is a tri-
umph of giving domicile to promise, and of exciting 
its revival, its sharing. I have cited its architect 
before, and do again, for the humaneness of his men-
tality. This is quite palpable. In the buildings of 
Louis Kahn, one of Mr Dylan's most beloved lyrics is
answered to becoming surprise, as in the Kimbell's
came home.

Louis I. Kahn
Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth

Alexandra Latour
Louis I. Kahn
  L'uomo, il maestro
Alexandra Latour, translation
Edizioni Kappa, 1986©


  1. I would have to say the most capturing is the you have cited before of Henry Raeburn, British (Scottish) (1756–1823)
    The Allen Brothers (Portrait of James and John Lee Allen)

    However, I find the details, effects & the defining texture colors, giving an identity to even the type of material in this portrait of May Sartoris to be extremely a timeless piece of renaissance structure of elegance.~ one can easily differentiate the velvet cape from the brown leather gloves in portrait~to say the least.
    Frederic Leighton, British (English) (1830–1896)
    Portrait of May Sartoris

  2. Enormously in your debt for playing and for the contribution of your thought, Anon. You make a very bold selection in several respects; now let us invite readers to offer reaction to the canvas, or a choice of their own, with equal confidence of welcome and pleasure in the exchange. I, for my part, am delighted to be confronted by this teenager in Hampshire just now, and would be just as intrigued to see her stride up from the pasture below my window.

  3. Must it be a painting? As a collector of ceramics, that is contemporary Norwegian ceramics mostly, I can not resist this: http://linneadiary.blogspot.no/2012/06/thank-you.html

    1. Never known it to fail: you ask everybody to write your blog for you, and they go off and write their own. Just can't get good help these days.

      Your selection truly reinforces my unique comfort to be at the Kimbell. There's no question of the deep consciousness of the axial barrel vault, despite the diffusion of light; and the scrutiny of a bowl only exploits this perception.