Tuesday, January 5, 2010
(Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX and a row of greenhouses, Costa Rica)
Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum, with its sunken square sedge at the end wall of five enclosed barrel vaults, is the perfect opaque mate to a strip of hoop houses in the landscape. Early garden treasures normally kept within a greenhouse are placed outside the museum as a quiet lawn, reserving the interior for fine artifacts. The Kimbell is a stoic, petrified monument to the often brittle and translucent predecessors, these prolific nurseries, bubbling and patched in the wind. Extruded greenhouses proliferating agricultural land are the light-saturated seedling safe houses from the elements. Almería’s white plastic merlons can be seen from space. How to learn from these twin forms set in the prairie: one visually protective while thoughtfully reflecting light from ridges; the other, a familiar translucent shell, warms the productive life inside.