The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open its Nancy and Rich Kinder Building to the public on Saturday, November 21, culminating a week of previews for staff, donors, members, and community partners. To celebrate the public inauguration of Houston’s newest cultural landmark, which completes the decade-long expansion and enhancement of the Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, the MFAH will offer free general admission to all of its gallery buildings throughout the weekend and to the Kinder Building through Wednesday, November 25.
The third gallery building of the MFAH, dedicated for the display of the Museum’s outstanding and fast-growing international collections of modern and contemporary art, the 237,000-square-foot Kinder Building has been designed by Steven Holl, Principal and Lead Designer of Steven Holl Architects, who also designed the master plan for the Sarofim Campus. The landscape architects for the 14-acre Sarofim Campus are Deborah Nevins and Mario Benito of Deborah Nevins & Associates/ Nevins & Benito Landscape Architecture, D.P.C. The Kinder Building is named in honor of Richard D. Kinder, Chairman of the MFAH Board of Trustees, and his wife, Nancy Kinder.
The Kinder Building is opening with the first comprehensive installation of the Museum’s collections of modern and contemporary artworks, drawn from the collections of Latin American and Latino art; photography; prints and drawings; decorative arts, craft, and design; and modern and contemporary art.
A flexible black-box gallery at street level is devoted to immersive installations, including The Hydrospatial City, 1946-1972, by the Argentinean artist Gyula Kosice and Caper, Salmon to White: Wedgework, 2000, a light-filled environment by James Turrell. A windowed gallery facing Main Street features Lezart I, 1989, a monumental installation by the Brazilian artist Tunga, adjacent to a gallery presenting the Museum’s kinetic sculptures by Jean Tinguely, a historic 1965 acquisition. Moon Dust (Apollo 17), 2009, an installation of suspended lights by Spencer Finch, hangs in the café space.
The second-floor galleries are organized by curatorial department. While incorporating all major movements and representing the internal histories of different media, the galleries also challenge familiar narratives by cutting across national borders and in some cases chronological categories. The third-floor galleries feature thematic exhibitions, with artworks from the 1960s onward.
These first installations in the Kinder Building are accompanied by eight major site-specific commissioned works. Commissioned artists are El Anatsui, Byung Hoon Choi, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Ólafur Elíasson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Cristina Iglesias, Jason Salavon, and Ai Weiwei. These commissions join additional recent acquisitions featured in the Kinder Building, including works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Glenn Ligon, Martin Puryear, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Doris Salcedo, and Kara Walker.