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Frank Bowling “Middle Passage”, 1970

The Menil’s growing collection, while not encyclopedic, spans the prehistoric era to the present day. Particular areas of strength include Byzantine art, West and Central African art, Surrealism, and 20th and 21st century American and European art. On September 22, 2018, the museum reopens with a year-long permanent collection initiative featuring many of the museum’s most well-known paintings and sculptures, as well as recent acquisitions and other works and promised gifts that have never before been on view in the museum. The installations will be changed several times over the course of the year-long period.

The opening installation in the African art galleries features more than 60 masks, figural sculptures and shrines, and vessels from regions of West and Central Africa. Introducing the galleries is a new presentation of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that explore the shared histories Africa and Europe after 15th century.

The gallery for the arts of the Pacific Islands showcases masks, body ornaments, textiles, prestige objects, ceremonial and utilitarian sculptures, and musical instruments from the regions of Polynesia and Melanesia.

The presentation of Medieval to Early Modern art (5th to 18th centuries) is designed around a central room devoted to the Menil’s celebrated collection of Byzantine icons. The icons range in date from the 6th to the 18th centuries and represent three distinct cultures: Greek, Balkan, and Russian.

Works from the Mediterranean, North Africa, Near and Middle East, and Asia comprise the Arts of the Ancient World galleries. Organized according to cultural regions and periods, singular works from ancient Egypt and Greece, the Etruscan civilization, the Cyclades Islands, and the provinces of the Roman Empire highlight the visual histories of human civilizations spanning millennia.

The presentation of modern and contemporary art has been significantly expanded. The display includes a selection of work by Fernand Léger (1881–1955), as well as rooms devoted to the spectacular abstract paintings by the American artists Mark Rothko (1903– 70) and Barnett Newman (1905–70). The strength of the Menil’s holdings of Post-War European art is represented with major works by Yves Klein (1928–62), Christo (b. 1935), Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002), and Jean Tinguely (1925–91).

The galleries devoted to the Menil’s iconic Surrealist collection have been expanded, yet retain the intimate domestic scale expected by visitors. The new installation includes entire rooms devoted to individual artists: Max Ernst (1891–1976), Victor Brauner (1903–66), Joseph Cornell (1903–72) and René Magritte (1898–1967).

Selected artists:

Ambakich [Aion] peoples
Australian Aboriginal peoples
Forrest Bess
Joseph Cornell
Baining peoples
René Magritte
Mande-speaking peoples
Pierre Raymond
Léonard Limosin
Haida peoples
Tlingit peoples
Hedda Sterne
Wifredo Lam
Fernand Léger
Antiphon Painter
Antimenes Painter
Mande peoples
Kono peoples
Heiltsuk peoples
Frank Bowling
Jukun-speaking peoples
Mahafaly peoples
Joe Overstreet
Ibibio peoples
Kongo peoples
Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw peoples (Kwakiutl)
Sakalava peoples
Yoruba peoples
Nuu-chah-nulth peoples
Kuba peoples
Walter De Maria
Willie Seaweed
Alexander Calder
Amhara peoples
Max Ernst
Marcel Duchamp
Rapa Nui peoples
Dan peoples
Pol Bury
Victor Brauner
Giorgio de Chirico
Joan Miró
Louise Nevelson
Francis Picabia
Pablo Picasso
Lucio Fontana
Gola peoples
Robert Ryman
Yves Klein
Barnett Newman
Arshile Gorky
Gabriel Mathias
Frank Stella
George Morland
Maori peoples
Sawos peoples
Francis Bacon
Mark Rothko
Man Ray
Yves Tanguy
Jasper Johns
Lee Bontecou
Robert Rauschenberg
Yup’ik peoples
Cy Twombly
Iroquois peoples
Asmat peoples
Sonia Gechtoff
Willem de Kooning
Lee Krasner
Marlene Dumas
Suzan Frecon
Richard Serra
Meret Oppenheim
Theaster Gates
Toni LaSelle
Hopi peoples
Salish peoples
Tsimshian peoples
Lock & Co. Hatters
Ishi (died 1916), last of the Yai Indians
Roberto Matta
Alberto Giacometti
Duma peoples
Songye peoples
Mossi peoples
Dogon peoples
Charles Eames
Baule peoples
Pende peoples
Juan Gris
William Christenberry, Sr.
Akan peoples
Daria C. Williams
Jacques François Gaudérique Llanta
Nicolas de Larmessin II
Matthew Darly
Jan de Visscher
Hippolyte Bellangé
Salvador Dalí
Keystone View Company
Agnes Martin
Ni-Vanuatu peoples
Roni Horn
Perle Fine
Ewe peoples
Piet Mondrian
Jeanne Reynal
Baga peoples
Nalu peoples
Pre-Bembe peoples
Edo peoples
Jacques Lipchitz
Ticuna peoples
François de Nomé
Elema peoples
Bamana peoples
Sulka peoples
Lake Sentani peoples
Degha peoples
Lega peoples
Kete peoples
François Clouet
Beembe-Kongo peoples
Obamba peoples
Fang peoples
Suku peoples
Niki de Saint Phalle
Giuseppe Arcimboldi
Vili peoples
Jean Tinguely
The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross Street
Houston, Texas 77006 | U.S.A.


Frank Bowling “Middle Passage”, 1970
Synthetic polymer paint, silkscreen ink, spray paint, wax crayon, and graphite on canvas
122 1/4 × 122 1/4 × 2 in. (310.5 × 310.5 × 5.1 cm)
Place Created: Guyana, South America

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