Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons

As a way to draw out the riches in some overlooked works in its permanent collection, the Kimbell commissioned director Philip Haas (Angels and Insects) to use five as inspiration for short films that were projected, most of them on multiple screens, in temporary enclosures around the museum. It worked. Best of the bunch? In the rich vignette drawn from Annibale Carracci's The Butcher's Shop, the 16th century artist summoned flesh from pigment on one screen while on a facing wall his butcher-models offered their very human selves — awkward, funny, grave — to his transforming eye. A 14th century Chinese scroll, Arhat Taming the Dragon, unfolded as a charming tale in a make-believe world. And Tiepolo's extravagant 18th century sketch, Apollo and the Continents, became a lush and slightly campy flight of fancy projected across a gallery's barrel-vaulted ceiling and all four of its walls.

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 7/18-10/25