The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden is a peaceful retreat from the hectic bustle of downtown Houston as its mixture of period sculptures and nature creates an ideal place to admire the work of numerous artists. Located on the corner of Bissonnet Street and Montrose Boulevard, this area was designed by Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese architect and sculptor, which he described as a “sculpture for sculpture.” The varying height of walls and placement of pavement and lawn is all specifically planned to create a modernist haven for the sculptures it houses.
The collection spans from the modernist period to the post modernist period, including pieces that touch on Surrealism, Abstraction, and Cubism. Spanning across one of the western walls is Ellsworth Kelly’s Houston Triptych, created exclusively for this site. This enormous work illustrates how abstract construction plays with space and linear movement.
Some of my personal favorites from the garden are Frank Stella’s Decanter and Dan Graham’s Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts, Variation F. Stella’s collision of shapes embraces the third dimension and the combination of materials used only adds to the overall viewing of the work.
I found Graham’s conceptual art fascinating, as it changed with every new angle making each experience unique. The combination and mirror and transparent glass confuse normal views of perception and space. I felt as though I was in a different place as I looked at the park through the glass and mirror of the piece.
Here are a few more pictures of the garden including sculptures from Paladino, Duchamp-Villon, Bourdelle, Rodin, David Smith, Matisse, Shapiro, and Ridgway.
For more information about the garden, visit: http://prv.mfah.org/sculpturegarden/