At a time when the abstract, experimental and the minimal reigns supreme, a temporary sculpture exhibit in the Arts District, the Latino Cultural Center and Lee Park is particularly satisfying. The winged-figures by Jorge Marín were brought to Dallas through the Consulate General of Mexico and will remain here until sometime in May.
Marín was on hand for opening ceremonies and a walking tour this morning. His sculptures are here to demonstrate that public sculpture need not be international and abstract. Something figural, representative and easy to understand can go a long way in enhancing a public space.
Marín’s bronze figures on steel pedestals are at once engaging and as some have found, haunting. One woman posted on Facebook she was so startled by one placed outside of Booker T. Washington school that she pulled her car over and began to pray.
Beautifully crafted, classic but not nostalgic, the sculpture provides something public spaces in Dallas have been missing. In architecture circles, this is sometimes called texture, but this sculpture goes beyond that. Perhaps “texture that talks” is a way to describe it. The winged figures help break up the large cold plazas that are so common here and invite pedestrians to engage with them. It would seem the presence of public sculptures may go so far as to point out the fact that many of these public spaces exist at all.
The son of a well-known architect, Marín is a sculptor and painter. He’s been active in the contemporary art world for the last 25 years. Beginning with ceramics, bronze became his preferred material a decade ago, and winged figures with depersonalizing masks are a common theme in his work. This is his first time exhibiting in Dallas.
The pair of wings in One Arts Plaza were previously displayed outside the Mexican Consulate in Berlin. They symbolize the fraternal alliance between people and cultures, the overcoming of borders, and the endeavor to go as far as fantasy allows.
The sculptures are particularly stunning in Lee Park. I have often thought additional sculpture would help make the space less of a lawn intended to be viewed by passing motorists and more of an outdoor living space for enjoyment and contemplation. Marín’s works are designed and suited for just this purpose. They do invite you in and engage you in dialogue, with both the art and space. And who could have a problem with the beautiful muscle in bronze?
I only wish at least one could stay permanently. Alas in May they will relocate to Fort Worth for a time.