Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Visiting the Chinati Foundation

Viewing path
15 Untitled Works in Concrete

The foundation is located at the site of Fort D.A. Russell, a military base that was active from the early 1900’s through World War II.  This is a (mostly) outdoor art museum featuring the works of Donald Judd.  Judd was an interesting artist whose works here are a study in shapes and the use of space.  I suppose his art did for me what an artist would like to illicit from viewers.  It left me with something to think about.

The first installation on the tour is called “15 Untitled Works in concrete.  These pieces span a straight north to south line that is one kilometer long.  Each piece measures 60 meters from center to the center of the pieces next to it.

3rd Untitled Work in Concrete 4th Untitled Work in Concrete 6th Untitled Work in Concrete
10th Untitled Work in Concrete 12th Untitled Work in Concrete 13th Untitled Work in Concrete

15 untitled works in concrete, 1980 - 1984

From here the self guided tour leads to The John Wesley Gallery.  The art within the gallery is viewed from windows that run the length of the building.  His works feature a “limited color palette and a concise line”. 

John Wesley Gallery-1 John Wesley Gallery-2 John Wesley Gallery-3

The John Wesley Gallery

Following the path further along, I came to the “Monument to the Last Horse”, which replaced a concrete marker of the grave of Louie: the former fort’s last cavalry horse.  From 1911 through 1933, this was a cavalry post called Camp Marfa

Monument to the last horse
Monument to the Last Horse

The Fort D.A. Russell History Museum never came to pass, however the buildings that were intended to house it (a former mess hall) are still there, and some graffiti/murals painted by unknown soldiers are still there for viewing.

Fort DA Russel History Museum-1 Fort DA Russel History Museum-2 Fort DA Russel History Museum-3

This is a spot to visit that I would recommend because it is different than any other art exhibit that I’ve seen before, and also because it will not be easily forgotten by anyone who take the time to understand a little bit about Donald Judd and the other artists whose work is displayed here.

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