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Visual Arts

The Nasher Offers a Rare Chance to Visit the Rachofsky Warehouse this Summer

Two great Dallas art collections intermix in tandem exhibitions that span 150 years of sculpture.

Tucked away on an industrial street in North Dallas is one of the city’s largest, most prestigious art collections. The Warehouse, a private, unassuming building that houses the Rachofsky Collection, is typically closed off from public eyes. For a few Saturdays this summer, though, it’s open to members of the Nasher Sculpture Center (there are also public tours to be announced). The two organizations have teamed up for tandem exhibitions combining their impressive collections and curatorial prowess. Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections, on view at the Nasher, and The Sensation of Space, on view at The Warehouse, illustrate 150 years in sculpture through works by Matisse, Rodin, Giacometti, Calder, and many more. 

Pairings at the Nasher is, of course, open to the public with general admission. Occupying one large gallery on the ground floor, the show acts as a nice palate cleanser to Sheila Hicks’ warm solo exhibition weaving through the lower level of the museum. You should see it.

What I’d really like to talk about, though, is The Sensation of Space. The massive, overwhelming exhibit at The Warehouse is a captivating display that highlights some of the most beautiful pieces of the Nasher’s and the Rachofsky collections, alongside works on loan from the collections of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Deedie Potter Rose, and Christen and Derek Wilson. It was curated by Leigh Arnold, the Nasher’s assistant curator, and Thomas Feulmer, the director of educational programming at The Warehouse. 

The show explores several different themes through about 13 galleries, from the human figure to geometry to political and social issues to assemblage.

Installation view, The Sensation of Space. Photo by Kevin Todora.

“It asks, what is sculpture, what is our relationship to sculpture in the last 100 to 150 years,” says Feulmer. The first gallery focuses on depictions of the human form, from Rodin’s classic Eve to Robert Gober’s Untitled, 200-01, a handwoven basket filled with beeswax flesh sprinkled with human hair. Occupying the majority of a gallery wall, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Venere degli stracci dorata (Golden Venus of the Rags) is a standout piece–a nude woman dipped in gold standing in front of a mountain of fabric scraps. 

Through the hall, the next gallery holds a massive tangle of a sculpture by British artist Phyllida Barlow (you may remember her 2015 solo exhibition at the Nasher), a dark fruit with an arching stem by Eva Rothschild, a textured canvas by Mark Bradford, and then some. 

Some of the smaller galleries pair artists together–Marlene Dumas’s contemporary paintings alongside chunky, geometric bronze figures by Matisse. In another corner, you’ll find Janine Antoni’s modern, jarringly sensual works coupled with Medardo Rosso’s visceral sculptures from the late 19th century. Antoni’s twin busts, Lick and Lather, one made of chocolate and the other of soap, both partially consumed, are strangely kindred to Rosso’s wax-slathered plasters. 

In other galleries, Donald Judd will teach you about geometry, Duchamp-Villon explores negative space, Doris Salcedo (Nasher Prize Laureate) ponders politics, Jeff Koons analyzes power. There are so many very famous artists featured, and there are also a good number of artists you’ve never heard of but will be pleased to discover. 

I could keep describing the wonderful multitude of visuals, but it’s better if you see it for yourself. The Warehouse has free tours for Nasher Members on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. and August 17 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Not a member? It’s $50 for Gabo Circle membership, including free admission and parking for one adult, or $75 for Giacometti Circle membership, which includes free admission and parking for two adults. If you buy it with a friend, that’s less than $40 per person–meaning you can see all the exhibits at the Nasher for a year, and this incredible show at The Warehouse for about the same price of an hour in an immersive pop-up. It’s worth it. 

There’s a public tour of Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections this Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. at the Nasher with Leigh Arnold and Thomas Feulmer. Registration is recommended.