The permanent collection at Crystal Bridges was eclectic in the extreme, and introduced me to works of art that delighted and disturbed me.
David Hockney's 15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon dominated a passage between galleries.
At first, I thought that there could not be a more quintessentially American composition than a framed crucifix made of paper money. A closer look revealed that it was not a collage but an astonishing trompe l'oeil painting by Victor Dubreuil. Dubreuil was a 19th Century American artist, born in France, who specialized in numismatic subjects. He painted Cross of Gold in 1879. The element of visual deception made the oil painting even more richly symbolic of national hypocrisy.
Hanging in the space above the staircase was Gabriel Dawe's Plexus No. 27, a work as abstract as Dubreuil's was representational. The Mexican artist used 60 miles of string to create the wing-like sculpture. It was mounted and lit beautifully. Gazing up at Plexus, I felt weightless, as if I could soar up the stairwell. And HL's photograph does it justice. I believe that it is one of the best pictures that he took during our trip.
Plexus No. 27, by Gabriel Dawe, 2014