Activity: Discovering Dynamic Abstraction

Since it’s “D” month, it was only fitting that we attend an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. We chose the most interactive exhibition of the season: “Movement: The Legacy of Kineticism” which billed itself as showcasing how artists, from the early 20th century to present, have used the power of dynamic abstraction. We’re both familiar with abstract art, but “dynamic abstraction” was new to us. While abstract art can take many forms – paintings, sculptures, photographs, etc. – it doesn’t objectively or accurately represent visual reality. The art enters the dynamic range when the artist adds shapes, colors, lines, or patterns to create visual illusions that trick our eyes into seeing movement and depth when we are actually looking at still lines on a flat surface.

Attending this exhibit taught us a few things – and not only about the specific art displayed. We learned it’s a good idea to read up beforehand on the exhibit you’ll be seeing or to pay closer attention to any written information posted on the exhibit’s walls. For instance, not until we looked up information the next day did we learn that when we first entered the exhibit and walked through several feet of hanging chains, we were supposed to pull the chains, turning lights on and off. Not a deal breaker, but it would have added more “dynamics” to the experience.

An added bonus to the afternoon: “Matthew Wong: The Realm of Appearances.” Our tickets also included this exhibit, and we were so glad it did. We both loved his later work. When we say “later”, unfortunately his career only lasted six years. He suffered from Tourette’s syndrome and depression and he committed suicide at the age of 35.

His sense of isolation was evident in many of his paintings by a tiny lone figure, often hard to spot. We will both remember the feelings his artwork invoked in us.

Activity: Documentaries

Barbara: Dear Future Children

This 2021 documentary focuses on three countries – Chile, Uganda, and Hong Kong – and the problems they are facing, narrated by a young woman in each. They all worry about how their world will be for future children. In Chile, the youth were protesting the government and the vast gap between the poor/middle class and the rich due to the low wages, low pensions, and high cost of living. “When you lie to the poor, you find your answer on the streets.” Uganda’s problem was climate change and the question posed from the narrator, when asked why she is focusing on this problem, was “Why would you study for a future that is not clear?” Her professor told her it was God’s will and that there was nothing she could do about it. Hong Kong’s issue was the attempts by China to bring them under their control and especially an extradition bill. All three stories were powerful and upsetting. I am not sure what the situations are in their countries today but hope that their brave work will not be for nothing.


Wishing everyone a great New Year We’ll leave you with this one fun fact (thanks to our friend Rosemary for introducing us to “One Good Fact”)

“People in Spain celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating 12 grapes in sync with the 12 clock chimes at midnight.”

We’ll have our 12 grapes on hand for the countdown tonight in hopes of a sweet 2023.

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