6 Things to See at “The Contemporary” Art Museum in Austin

Austin’s “The Contemporary” is a multi-venue museum and gallery campus with indoor and outdoor exhibitions with a firm focus on bringing art and culture to the local community.

The art museum in Austin, Texas is comprised of two completely separate sections: The Jones Center, a modern building situated downtown, and the Laguna Gloria, an Italian styled outdoor sculpture park and villa with 14 acres of exhibition space on Lady Bird Lake.

The indoor venue of the museum is a firm tourist favorite, but is rarely overcrowded. Whilst the outdoor spaces of the Laguna Gloria appeal to families and locals wanting to spend time outdoors.

The Jones Center

The downtown Jones Center at the Contemporary art museum in Austin has rotating exhibits on the ground floor, and the tall windows attract passing pedestrians to the often experimental installations inside. Here’s a selection of ongoing (and upcoming) exhibitions:

Jim Hodges: With Liberty and Justice for All

Jim Hodges’ “With Liberty and Justice for All” has been a semi-permanent (but constantly updated) installation at The Contemporary art museum for a number of years. The artist’s work continues to grow in size and scope, and features works created from a huge range of everyday materials, including glass, steel, crystal, plastic, fake flowers, and even makeup.

Nicole Eisenman: Sturm und Drang

Punk music, feminism, humor, and rawness combine in Nicole Eisenman’s work to create extremely unique and iconic works of art. Eisenman is most famous for her paintings and drawings, but this installation sees her turning her hand to three-dimensional sculptures. Her larger pieces are also on display at the nearby Laguna Gloria site.

Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye

Norway’s Torbjørn Rødland at the Contemporary museum use analog tech and readymade scenes to create fashion-style photographs with an otherworldly conceptual twist. The artist’s works are contradictory in nature, featuring monochrome and bright colors and the layering of jarring imagery that makes for a very unique display.

Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria

Not so much a new installation, “The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park” is the official name of the entire Laguna Gloria park and display area, and displays exhibitions and permanent, outdoor art installations amongst beautiful scenery, including woodlands, meadows, and ornamental gardens.

Here are a couple of artists who have recently added installations in the park:

Paul McCarthy, White Snow #3

Inspired by German folklore, artist Paul McCarthy uses satire and dark humor to question America’s current social norms. His children’s storybook figures trade happy endings for disturbing and often hilarious outcomes that are far removed from the popular Walt Disney style adaptations most people are familiar with.

Nancy Holt, Time Span

Back in the 1970s, Nancy Holt was one of several artists seeking to integrate art with the natural landscape and was deeply influenced by the American West.

Reflecting seasonal change, her “Time Span” sculpture at the Contemporary art museum in Austin highlights the overlapping cycles of personal and astronomical time, by casting a shadow through the sculpture’s steel wheel frames onto a plaque on the ground inscribed with the sculpture’s date of completion and the artist’s birthday.

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Looking up, with The Austin Guitar Quartet

Finally, to experience the beautiful and atmospheric Laguna Gloria without leaving the comfort of your own home, The Austin Guitar Quartet will perform solos, duos, and (as the name suggests) quartets that will be live streamed for free to a limited audience on the evening of November 19th.

Featured Image Credit: The Contemporary on Facebook

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