FORT WORTH -- What does a 10-year-old want for reaching the two-digit milestone? Some fluorescent lights? Perhaps a box of colored pencils for drawing on the wall?
That's what the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has purchased for the 10th anniversary of its move into the Tadao Andodesigned building.
The Modern has been stacking up a pile of presents and will pretend to unwrap them at a gala planned for Dec. 6.
The blue and yellow fluorescent light sculpture by Dan Flavin and the wall drawing by Sol LeWitt are two of many presents, er acquisitions, the Modern has purchased recently. Many of the new pieces are by artists already represented in the Modern's stable, such as Fort Worth-based Vernon Fisher, Howard Hodgkin, Bruce Nauman and Nicholas Nixon. New names that will go up on the walls are those of Robyn O'Neil and Mark Bradford.Bradford's painting, Kingdom Day, 2010, is a homage to the Kingdom Day Parade held every year in Los Angeles on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Bradford's depiction specifically references the 1992 parade in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating; in it an explosive landscape is rendered from the topology of satellite imagery.
Also new to the institution is a piece by Jenny Holzer, who will be given a semi-permanent gallery for one of her signature signs that scrolls LED aphorisms such as "Money creates taste;" "Your oldest fears are you worst ones;" "Slipping into madness is good for comparison;" and "Mothers shouldn't make too many sacrifices." The rolling platitudes will move from one end of the long clerestory gallery to the edge of the pond and seemingly slide into the water. This gallery is a neighbor to the one that houses the Ladder for Booker T. Washington by Martin Puryear, and as one of the most valuable tracts of museum real estate, it needed a destination piece.
The Modern's new pieces are debuting over the fall in an anticipatory buildup for the anniversary party. On view by Oct. 21 will be LeWitt's Wall Drawing #50A, 1970; Flavin's Untitled (for you Leo, in long respect and affection) 4, 1978; Nixon's latest installment for his photographic series, The Brown Sisters, Truro, Massachusetts, 2011; Bradford's painting, O'Neil's nearly 14-foot long charcoal drawing These Final Hours Embrace At Last; This Is Our Ending, This Is Our Past, 2007; and Hodgkin's Ice, 2008-10.
Up by Nov. 16 will be Fisher's The Coriolis Effect, 1987; and Nauman's video and sound installation Studio Mix, 2010. Holzer's work, which is yet to be titled, is the showpiece of the anniversary gala.
Gaile Robinson is the Star-Telegram art and design critic, 817-390-7113